Hunter Poetry Slam 2019: Hone your poetry and writing skills with a free workshop at Scone Council Chambers

CREATIVE: Melanie Mununggurr-Williams was crowned the first ever indigenous Australian Poetry Slam champion in 2018.
CREATIVE: Melanie Mununggurr-Williams was crowned the first ever indigenous Australian Poetry Slam champion in 2018.

ARE you a budding poet or a seasoned performer in the Upper Hunter?

The search is on for Australia's next poetry slam champion, and local poets will have the chance to hone their craft in pursuit of the title with the Hunter Poetry slam expanding to include workshops and heats across regional areas including Scone and Muswellbrook.

The Scone and Muswellbrook Libraries are hosting two of the free poetry workshops on Thursday, July 18 from 10am to 12pm at Scone Council Chambers and 2pm to 4pm at Muswellbrook Library.

What's a poetry slam? A poetry slam is a unique event where poets are given a microphone, a live audience and just two minutes to impress the judges with their original poetry, stories...whatever they do with words. The judges are chosen randomly from the crowd.

The Hunter Poetry slam 2019 gives the opportunity to new and experienced poets to participate in one of the six free workshops held across the region and compete at local heats in September.

The top-scoring poets will move into the Hunter regional heat at Newcastle Town Hall on October 4 as part of This is Not Art festival (TiNA).

From the regional heat, two poets will be selected for the NSW final as part of the Australian Poetry Slam.

"Developing creative skills, networks and confidence is the foundation of the Hunter Poetry Slam program," program manager Christina Robberds said.

"Our region is full of amazing creatives and these workshops will help poets hone their skills and give them better chance to ultimately win the Australian Poetry Slam national final."

Melanie Mununggurr-Williams in action at the 2018 Australian Poetry Slamnational final:

Workshop participants are encouraged to take along a first draft of a poem to use as material to develop their writing and performance skills. They will have the opportunity to perform their poem to peers and receive constructive feedback.

The workshops will be facilitated by Alexander Simpson who is an active member of the Verses Project, a Poet in Residence Program supported by Maitland City Council, and has been writing and performing with them since the community's formation in 2017.

He has also performed at the Maitland Repertory Theatre for over 10 years, and is a tutor for young actors.

Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, Djapu woman from Yirrkala in East Arnhem Land, was crowned the first ever indigenous Australian Poetry Slam champion in 2018 after delivering an empowering performance about the struggles faced by Indigenous peoples in Australia.

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