Australian Poetry Slam

The Australian Poetry Slam is a national competition for spoken word artists. Anyone can enter. In 2017, 50 heats will be held in towns, cities and suburbs hold slam heats, in state and territory of Australia. Cafe's, libraries, festivals, community halls, pubs and clubs host these events. Audiences award scores to each poet. The favourite poet from each heat is eligible to compete at a regional or state poetry slam final. The best from each state and territory travel to Sydney, to perform for a packed out audience at the National Final. The national slam champion wins prizes and professional gigs.

Australian Poetry SLam Champions

Solli Raphael

2017 AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM CHAMPION

Solli Raphael was crowned the first ever Youth Champion of the Australian Poetry Slam in 2017. The 12-year-old Coffs Harbour poet claimed the title in a tie-breaking round against Adult Champion Jesse Oliver. Watch Solli's incredible performance in front of a sold-out crowd at Sydney Opera House on 15 October 2017.

 Solli Raphael, 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final at Sydney Opera House

Solli Raphael, 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final at Sydney Opera House


 Jesse Oliver, 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Adult Champion, performing at the National Final at Sydney Opera House

Jesse Oliver, 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Adult Champion, performing at the National Final at Sydney Opera House

Jesse Oliver

2017 Australian Poetry Slam Adult Champion

Jesse Oliver is the Australian Poetry Slam Adult Champion for 2017. The wholesome Perth Poet is best known for his casual conversational style of slam. Watch his performance from the 2017 National Final.


 Arielle Cottingham, 2016 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final at the Sydney Opera House

Arielle Cottingham, 2016 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final at the Sydney Opera House

Arielle Cottingham

2016 AUSTRALIAN POETRY SLAM CHAMPION

Arielle Cottingham was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2016. Known for mixing the personal and the political, her work deals heavily with themes of identity, heritage and history. Watch her powerful performance at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final.


 Philip Wilcox, 2015 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final

Philip Wilcox, 2015 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final

Philip wilcox

2015 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Philip Wilcox was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2015, and previous two-time NSW Poetry Slam Champion. Using wit, humour and raw authenticity, Philip’s work is at times both hilarious and challenging. Watch Phil’s winning performance for the National Final.


 Zohab Zee Khan, 2014 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final

Zohab Zee Khan, 2014 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final

Zohab Zee KhaN

2014 australian poetry slam champion

Zohab Zee Khan was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2014. Part spoken word artist, motivational speaker and hip-hop artist, Zohab’s work empowers and educates through discussions of racism, identity and socio-economic issues. Watch his performance on the power of spoken word at the National Final.


 Jesse John Brand, 2013 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Jesse John Brand, 2013 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Jesse John Brand

2013 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Jesse John Brand was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2013. Using experimental performance methods, his work explores personal narratives and themes of modern dystopia, history, science and religion. Watch Jesse’s performance at the National Final.


 CJ Bowerbird, 2012 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final

CJ Bowerbird, 2012 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final

CJ Bowerbird

2012 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

CJ Bowerbird was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2012. Exploring everyday issues and what it means to be human, CJ’s classic satire and wit make his work both poignant and hilarious. Watch CJ's performance at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final.


 Luka Lesson, 2011 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final

Luka Lesson, 2011 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, performing at the National Final

Luka Lesson

2011 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Luka Lesson was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2011. Using poetry to empower communities and bring attention to critical social issues, Luka remains a significant force in the global spoken word community. Watch his winning performance at the National Final.


 Kelly-Lee Hickey, 2010 Australian Poetry Slam Winner

Kelly-Lee Hickey, 2010 Australian Poetry Slam Winner

Kelly-Lee Hickey –

2010 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Kelly-Lee Hickey was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2010. Kelly-Lee’s work deals with the deeply personal intersections of identity, location and history, often using storytelling to connect communities throughout Australia and Indonesia. Watch her performance at the National Final.


 Sarah Taylor, 2009 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Sarah Taylor, 2009 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Sarah Taylor

2009 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Sarah Taylor was the Australian Poetry Slam Champion for 2009. Coming to spoken word poetry by chance, Sarah’s winning slam uses a deep sense of humour to investigate the taboos and shocks of aging in women. Watch her performance at the National Final.


 Omar Musa, Australian Poetry Slam Champion 2008

Omar Musa, Australian Poetry Slam Champion 2008

Omar Musa

2008 Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Omar Musa was the 2008 Australian Poetry Slam Champion. Confronting the dark realities of Australian history and culture, in his winning slam Omar began to investigate traditional understandings of masculinity and family life. Watch his performance at the Sydney Opera House for the National Final.


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Australian Poetry Slam is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW, as well as Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.