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January 11, 2024

Slam into 2024 with poetry

Spoken Word SA is launching its Summer Slam competition this weekend at the State Library.

  • Words: Sharni McPhail
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  • Last year's SA Summer Slam winner Katherine Sortini.

Summer Slam host Sarah Jane Justice wants first-timers to showcase their poetic vibes, saying that last year’s winner, Yeeel, was a backpacker sharing her story while travelling through Adelaide.

“Sometimes, people get up on that stage who’ve never read to an audience in their lives, and they blow us away. Occasionally they’ll win it!” Sarah says.

“First-timers have just as much of a chance as anyone else, and we love to see new faces. The number one comment I get from people attending one of our slams for the first time is that it was way more fun than they were expecting.


More info at Spoken Word SA’s website.

“It’s always a supportive, encouraging, and friendly crowd.”

Special guest Katherine Sortini will perform during the finals on Thursday, February 1. She’s a highly skilled actor, playwright, and director and the reigning SA State Champ for the Australian Poetry Slam.

“Spoken Word SA has been in charge of the SA leg of the Australian Poetry Slam since its inception and it’s a big deal of a competition that we love running,” Sarah says.

“Summer Slam uses the same rules, but is much more casual – a little less daunting for newcomers as well.”

The main requirement is that poems must be the original work of the performer and be recited in under two minutes without props, costumes or musical accompaniment.

The top three scoring poets from each heat make it through to the final along with two “wild card” entrants picked by the organisers.

Events will be held across Adelaide across the four weeks of competition.

The first heat starts at 6:30pm on Saturday, January 13 at the State Library and tickets are $10 at the door.

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