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Home > Heats begin to find Victoria’s top slam poet

Heats begin to find Victoria’s top slam poet

Clockwise from top left: Australian Poetry Slam 2011 Victorian finalist Michelle Dabrowski, 2008 national champion Omar Musa, 2008 Victorian finalist Si Ginoch, 2010 tied national runner-up Tariro Mavondo and 2011 national finalist Simon Taylor

Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Victorian heats of the Australian Poetry Slam are soon to begin as State Library Victoria hunts for our top slam talent. 

State Library Victoria is inviting Victoria’s spoken word artists, poets, wordsmiths and rappers to rehearse their verse for a chance to compete in the Victorian finals of the 12th annual Australian Poetry Slam, the largest poetry slam program in the southern hemisphere.

From 29 July to 26 August, the State Library will coordinate heats at local libraries and public spaces across the state. The two finalists from each heat will face off in the Victorian final at State Library Victoria on Friday 2 September 2016. The Victorian winner and runner up will compete in the national final in Sydney on 16 October 2016 for the chance to become Australian Poetry Slam champion. 

In the poetry slam heats, performers are given a microphone, a live audience and just two minutes to impress the judges with their original spoken word, poetry, hip hop, monologues and storytelling. 

Australian Poetry Slam founder and spoken word artist Miles Merrill says: “Australian Poetry Slam has been giving writers, artists and performers a voice for more than a decade. Whether you’re a veteran on stage or getting on the mic for the first time, and whether you sing, shout, rap or rhyme, this is an open platform for you to be heard.” 

Victorian heats will be led by internationally renowned Melbourne-based spoken word artist and multi slam champion Michelle Dabrowski . Michelle will also perform at the Victorian finals along with Victorian winners of Australian Poetry’s Out Loud schools poetry competition. 

The national champion wins a tour to China for the Bookworm International Writers Festival in Beijing, Chengdu and Suzhou in March 2017 and Bali for The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in October 2017. The total value of prize is $11,000.

Australian Poetry Slam is presented by State Library Victoria and is co-created nationally by Word Travels, supported by state, territory and public libraries and festivals across the country.

Victorian heat details.

Victorian state final

State Library Victoria 
Friday 2 September 2016
7pm start
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

More information about Australian Poetry Slam at:


For media enquiries and interviews, please contact Matthew van Hasselt, Media & Public Affairs, State Library Victoria on (03) 8664 7263 or

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