Katoomba Library hosts legend of slam poetry, Miles Merrill

Slam poetry legend Miles Merrill will be at Katoomba Library on Thursday, June 22 for the Blue Mountains Heats of the Australian Poetry Slam.

Originally from Chicago, the birthplace of poetry slams, Merrill introduced the format to Australia in 1996 and his commitment has seen it become a major event held across the country every year.

Miles Merrill

Miles Merrill

Merrill will host and perform at this local heat of the national competition which attracts a keen following of poets, spoken-word performers and those just wanting to enjoy the slam experience at a venue close to home. The slam invites poets to perform a two-minute, original work of poetry, hip-hop or even a passionate monologue. Timing is crucial and delivery is everything: it can be sung, spoken, yelled or whispered but ultimately who wins is up to judges drawn from the live audience. Audience participation is critical and a lot of fun.

Slam heats are currently being held in city and regional venues across Australia until mid-November. Two poets from every region will be chosen to represent their community in the state/territory finals and could even go on the national final. Slammers will be competing for the ultimate opportunity to win a writer's tour worth $10,000 and a whole lot more in professional development. The poetry slam is open to all ages however those aged under need parental/guardian consent, for more information contact Katoomba Library on 4780 5750.

Poetry Slams began in Chicago in 1984 and have helped give a profile to acclaimed poets such as Luka Lesson, Omar Musa and Zohab Zee Khan. The event is free and starts at 7pm but registrations to perform are open from 6.30pm.