Featured Event


Wednesday, October 18 @ 7:00pm


23 Meyers Pl Melbourne



Has an Open Mic?


Melbourne Spoken Word is proud to support the campaign to say yes to marriage equality with a special spoken word event at Loop Bar.

Featuring Kylie Supski & Reverse Butcher, Charlotte


Listen to the latest issue of Audacious

Listen to the latest issue of Audacious, the audio-journal of Melbourne Spoken Word, a quarterly album of spoken word of the most bold and fresh voices in Melbourne.

Listen to Audacious .. ›
Event — Thursday, October 19 @ 7:00pm

Launch: Sean O'Carroll's Lucid Nature: Poems from a year in Wild Dog Valley

Buck Mulligan's Bookshop and Whiskey Bar

Get along to the official launch of Lucid Nature: Poems from a year in Wild Dog Valley

In 2016 Sean O’Carroll left the city with his family to live on the land for one year – unplugged and unschooled. The poems of Lucid Nature were born out of the experience of living close to nature, and far from the buzz of the city.

Sean will be in conversation with Claire Dunn, author of “My Year Without Matches”, talking about all things wild and poetic, telling stories and reading poems from the book.

“The poetry of Lucid Nature is unaffected, raw, provocative, acutely sensitive, and written with an honesty that is both painful and exhilarating. Sean O’Carroll’s work will sit comfortably on my bookshelf next to David Whyte, Mary Oliver and John O’Donohue, poetry I turn to for comfort, and the inspiration to give myself to life fully, without apology or excuse.” – Claire Dunn, author of My Year Without Matches

Come along, have a fine Irish whiskey in good company and hear stories and poems from the book! Buck Mulligan’s is a cosy Irish Whiskey bar and bookshop on High St in Northcote and is open to the general public. Books will be available for purchase and signing at this event, and if you pre-ordered books you will also be able to collect your pre-ordered books on the night.

All welcome…Free entry…See you there!

Comment — October 3

Vying for the audience: the relevance of slam

By Sharifa Tartoussi

Slam. Is this once agent in changing the way we produce and consume performance poetry still relevant?

For those who are not familiar with slam: Slam is a competition format in which poets are given a set time limit to perform their pieces and are then scored by a total of 5 randomly selected audience members, the scores usually range from 1-10 to the nearest 0.1 with the top and bottom scores being dropped in order to avoid bias, giving each poet a final score out of 30. The poet with the highest score at the end of the night wins. There are many variations on this basic format (which was first introduced by Marc Smith) employed by poetry competitions across the globe.

Slam boasts origins in the idea that the people should have a say in the type of content they are presented with. That is, that those who are the predominant consumers of performance poetry or spoken word; the audience should be the deciding party in the kind of work that is allowed recognition and reward. This has given rise to a style of poetry unofficially termed “slam poetry.”

Slam poetry is a term used to define the type of poetry, both in cadence and content, that is likely to score well at slams. A poet who presents poetry predominantly of this style may be called a slam poet. And while slam, by definition, is a format for competition, the world of slam poets and slam poetry is a rapidly growing one with poets who have attained worldwide recognition for their execution of this style of poetry. However, over time and particularly on our extensive and hugely varied poetry scene, the idea that the poetry presented in slam is of an inferior quality is becoming an increasingly held one.

That is to say, there is a specific school of thought which views slam through a lens that portrays the art that is presented on slam stages as simplistic, repetitive and lacking in any depth beyond the concise point that the artist is trying to make in the allotted time limit.