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Poetry Slam

Poetry Slam State Final at State Library of NSW Friday night

Wish our Australian Poetry Slam Regional Heat winners all the best when they take to the stage on Friday night for the State Final of the Australian Poetry Slam 08. Shannon Elliott, formerly of Canowindra, won the regional heat with his energetic rap “Self Acceptance” – about life, along with Josh Simpson, of Bathurst, who performed a moving poem about poetry. They each won Sydney flights and accommodation sponsored by The Orange Regional Arts Foundation and a spot in the final at the State Library of NSW on Friday 21 November at 6.30pm. There will be a total of 22 contestants from the regional heats held around the State. The NSW winner and runner-up take home $500 and $100 in prize money respectively and compete for a chance at the Australian Poetry Slam 08 title and $5,000 at the National Grand Slam in Sydney on 4 December. Good luck guys!

Wild card entries for Australian Poetry Slam

Budding poets can upload a two minute poetry slam video and compete for a wild card entry into the Poetry Slam National Grand Slam Final. The Grand Slam will be held at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday, 4 December and the online winner will compete alongside state winners for a chance of the $5,000 prizemoney. Anyone outside Sydney will be flown to the NSW capital and provided with accommodation. ABC Local radio has joined forces with State Libraries to bring the Australian Poetry to all Australians. There is now a dedicated online Poetry Slam destination: abc.net.au/poetryslam. For the first time ABC Local Radio will broadcast and stream all state finals, plus the Grand Slam Final. The dedicated website will include video of slam performances from heats and finals as well as the video entries in the online competition. Visitors will have the opportunity to join in forum discussion and comment on poet works. The online competition closes on Sunday November 16. Online entries will be judged by some of Australia's leading writing professionals, including spoken word artist Miles Merrill, poet Alicia Sometimes and Sydney Writers' Festival Artistic Director Dr Wendy Were. For more details about the Australian Poetry Slam and to find out what is on the mind of poets and performers go to abc.net.au/poetryslam.

Australian Poetry Slam Orange Heat Winners

Congratulations to all who took part. It was an incredible battle of words and poems, raps and raves last night as 12 entrants battled it out for a chance to compete in the NSW State Final for the Australian Poetry Slam 08. The theatre sport type entertainment included lots of audience participation as host Miles Merrill had everyone making noises and laughing at his observations on life and judges had fun scoring. Jacob Young stunned all with his autobiographical rap, Amy Johnson amazed everyone with her maturity shown in the poem “The Issue”. Jeanette Pennings performed a poem about “A Moment” in a busy day, while Zac Wells described “A Winter's Day”. Maggie Rosso almost had it won with a topical poem about “Retirement” while crowd favourite seven-year-old Phoebe Wells, took out third place with her thoughts on “Spring”. The audience was moved to tears with Tony Owen dedicating his “Holding onto Dreams” poem to his late wife Debbie Owen who was one of the winners in last year's heat. And Amy Harrison impressed with her views on life while Maddison Wells skillfully described a Volcano and Rachel Suringa was dynamic with her performance of “The Flame”. The winners were Shannon Elliott, of Canowindra, with is his energetic rap called “Self Acceptance”  about life and Josh Simpson, of Bathurst, with a moving poem about poetry. They both go on to perform on 21 November at the State Library of NSW with accommodation and flights sponsored by the Orange Regional Arts Foundation.

Here are the winners Shannon Elliott and Josh Simpson with host Miles Merrill:

And here are the entrants:

Microwave clock keeps poet on time

In the latest edition of the Orange Photo News newspaper a previous entrant in the Australian Poetry Slam competition shares her secret for sticking to the 2 minute time limit by using a microwave timer. 11 year-old Amy says she is no rapper but loves rhyming and speaking to a beat and took part in last year's event. The Australian Poetry Slam 08 Heat is being held at Orange City Library on Thursday 18 September at 6.30pm with performers allowed to sign up from 6pm. There is a limit of 20 contestants for the heat. Check out the display at Orange City Library for more details on rules, Poetry Slams and inspiration or go to www.wordsoutwest.com.au.

Australian Poetry Slam: have your say

Get ready to have your say and see spoken word artist Miles Merrill perform when he hosts the Australian Poetry Slam 08 competition. There will be two heats in the Central West:

Macquarie Regional Library, Dubbo
Saturday 13 September at 2.30pm

Orange City Library, Orange
Thursday 18 September at 6.30pm.

We are looking for poets, hip hop artists, storytellers and other outspoken wordsmiths to speak, scream, howl or whisper or sing your original poem, rhyme, rap or story. Performers can sign up from 30 mins before the start and have 2 minutes at the microphone to impress the judges. Be in the audience to have a chance of being picked as a judge (tip – catch the frisbee). It is an electric live event and entertainment plus. Two winners from the Orange heat will win Sydney flights and accommodation courtesy of Orange Regional Arts Foundation to be able to attend the State Final at the State Library of NSW on Friday 21 November. Come along and be part of it. Call Orange City Library on 6393 8132 for more details.