Abe Nouk and Ed Carlyon will head to the Opera House in October to represent Victoria in the national final of the Australian Poetry Slam after taking out first and second place in Friday night’s Victorian Final at the State Library.

After five heats in Bendigo, Wangaratta, Sydenham, Moonee Ponds and Yarram, two poets from each heat took to the stage in front of hundreds at the State Library to see who would become Victorian champion and the runner-up, both going to the final.

Scores were tight, with judges randomly selected from the audience by who could catch the flying lollipops launched from the stage by host Michelle Dabrowski. No one scored below an eight with decimal points bringing the scores down to the wire. The final featured regular faces in many of the spoken word events around Melbourne plus a whole lot of unknown faces who blew the crowd away, full of people cheering and clicking, many taking in the spectacle of poetry slam for the first time.

Runner-up Ed Carlyon, who placed in the Sydenham heat, described the feeling after as overwhelming to be going to the final in Sydney. “I haven’t quite taken it in yet. I just feel so so lucky. It was a gift enough to be able to speak in front of two hundred people but the idea doing that on a wider scale is so exciting.”

Abe Nouk said he felt honoured to win the slam. “It’s one of those things where you don’t know what’s gonna happen up until…but you really gotta trust the moment. I’m privileged. Very privileged.”

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, activist and the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word. He grew up in Western Sydney before calling Melbourne home in 2008, where he's performed since 2010 around Melbourne's regular spoken word and poetry nights including Passionate Tongues, The Dan Poets, Voices in the Attic and House of Bricks as well as the NGV and White Night. He's released a chapbook, broken bodies, and two spoken word albums, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense EP.
Benjamin Solah

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