Melbourne and Victoria feature a diverse range of regular spoken word and poetry events. Often monthly, some feature invited guests (featured poets) or open stage sections where anyone can get up and read. Please see our events page for updates and the latest announced events and dates, including who upcoming features are and any one-off special events.

Please note these events are independently run and curated and Melbourne Spoken Word just promotes and supports these events, and takes no responsibility for the curation and running of events.

Afro Hub Poetry Slam

Monthly spoken word event featuring an Afro or First Nations poet, and an open mic catered for Afro and First Nations voices, though others are welcome to sign up too. Usually on a Thursday night later in the month at Afro Hub in Carlton North. $10 entry.

WhenMonthly on Thursday nights
WhereAfro Hub, 727 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$10

Be Mused Poetry & Humanity

Monthly event at The Resistance Bar & Cafe in Hawthorn, featuring usually four poets and an open mic on a Saturday night. Entry by donation, goes toward the Red Cross.

WhenMonthly on Saturday nights
WhereResistance Bar & Cafe, Shop 6/672
Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostBy Donation

Chamber Poets

Run by Going Down Swinging co-founder and Haiku master, Myron Lysenko, Chamber Poets out in Woodend features a poet each month of a Saturday afternoon with an open mic at Woodend RSL sub-branch. Chamber Poets features a reluctant reader segment, where a local actor reads out the poems of more shy members of the audience.

WhenMonthly on Saturday afternoons
WhereWoodend RSL Sub-Branch, 32 Anslow St, Woodend
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleUnsure
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostBy Donation

Dan Poets

The longest running poetry gig in Melbourne, running every week at The Dan O’Connell Hotel in Carlton for the past twenty-five years, it features a poet and open mic each week from 2pm every Saturday afternoon.

WhenEvery Saturday afternoon from 2pm
WhereThe Dan O’Connell Hotel, 225 Canning Street, Carlton
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Danks Divergent Dialect

A new gig hosted by Hamish Danks Brown, this fortnightly open mic on Monday nights happens at The Post Hotel on St Kilda Road, St Kilda, a free and casual affair where anyone can turn up to share their poetry or spoken word.

WhenEvery second Monday night
WhereThe Post Hotel, 304-306 St Kilda Road, St Kilda
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Duende Spoken Word

A casual open mic night at The Resistance Bar & Cafe in Hawthorn, on Tuesday nights each month.

WhenMonthly on Tuesday nights
WhereResistance Bar & Cafe, Shop 6/672
Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Courthouse Readings

A monthly gig at The Eltham Courthouse in Eltham hosted by local poet Helen Lucas, it features a poet on the second Thursday of each month with an open mic. Poets read from the defendants stand in the old courthouse room. $5 entry also gets you some wine and nibbles too.

WhenThird Thursday of the month
WhereEltham Courthouse, 728 Main Road, Eltham
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$5

Girls on Key

On the first Wednesday of the month at Open Studio in Northcote, Girls on Key features women and non-binary poets each month, with anyone welcome to perform on the open mic. Entry is $10 or $8.

WhenFirst Wednesday of the month
WhereOpen Studio, 204 High Street, Northcote
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$10/8

GriffinSpeak

GriffinSpeak, founded by Sharifa Tartoussi and Joumana Souied, hosts a regular spoken word event at the Anthropology Cafe in Pascoe Vale usually on Saturday nights every three months or so, in an alcohol free space designed to create space for poets who otherwise wouldn’t get a platform.

WhenQuarterly on Saturday nights
WhereAnthropology Specialty Coffee & Concept Store, 349 Gaffney Street, Pascoe Vale
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
Cost$10

La Mama Poetica

La Mama Poetica is currently curated by poet Amanda Anastasi. This quarterly gig is hosted of a Tuesday night at the La Mama Courthouse Theatre on Drummond Street in Carlton and often features a selection of published poets known for strong work on the page, with a performance poet.

WhenQuarterly on Tuesday nights
WhereLa Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Open sectionNo
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$15/10

Littlefoot & Company Spoken Word Night

Monthly spoken word open mic on a Thursday night, hosted at Bunjil Place arts centre in Narre Warren, hosted by local arts organisation Littlefoot & Company. Free entry.

WhenMonthly on Thursday nights
WhereBunjil Place, 2 Patrick NE Drive, Narre Warren
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
CostFree

Lowercasepoetry

Out in Geelong, this monthly open mic of a Thursday night takes place at The Workers Club in Geelong. Usually each month poets are asked to optionally respond to theme, for both the open mic and a zine they produce.

WhenMonthly on Thursday nights
WhereThe Workers Club Geelong, 90 Little Malop Street, Geelong
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Melbourne Poets Union

The Melbourne Poets Union regularly hosts events each month, including chapbook launches and regular readings with open mics at various venues around Melbourne on varying days of the week. They also host special events such as a Multilingual poetry event and the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition.

Mother Tongue

Founded by Fleassy Malay, Mother Tongue is a women’s spoken word event that features women and non-binary poets and an open mic in an intimate alcohol-free space. They host an event on the second Friday of each month, now at Next Level Studios in Brunswick, alongside special events at festivals such as Rainbow and Seven Sisters.

WhenSecond Friday of the month
WhereNext Level Studios, 325 Victoria Street, Brunswick
Open sectionYes (women and non-binary poets only)
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
Cost$15/12

Painting in Tongues Poetry Slam

Hosted monthly at the Hawthorn Library, the slam also features a bunch of featured poets.

WhenLast Tuesday of the month, every two months
WhereHawthorn Library, 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
CostFree

Passionate Tongues

One of Melbourne’s longest running and most loved spoken word events, Passionate Tongues, hosted by patron-saint of Melbourne poetry, Michael Reynolds happens every second Tuesday night at The Brothers Public House in Fitzroy, with a feature poet and an open mic. Entry is free but feature poets are paid via a raffle where you can win a bunch of prizes including poetry books. Highly recommend for first time poets on the open mic.

WhenEvery second Tuesday night
WhereThe Brothers Public House, 42 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Poetesis

Spoken Word open mic hosted out in Belgrave at Sooki Lounge.

WhenEvery second Wednesday night
WhereSooki Lounge, 1648 Burwood Highway, Belgrave
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

PoetiCas

Monthly poetry event at various venues in Castlemaine, usually featuring a local poet and open mic.

Poetry @ Chrissy Hills

Monthly open mic with a feature poet hosted by Sandy Jeffs at the Christmas Hills Mechanics Institute in Christmas Hills, usually on a Thursday night with $5 entry.

WhenMonthly on Thursday nights
WhereChristmas Hills Mechanics Institute, 787 Ridge Road, Christmas Hills
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$5

Poetry at Lentils, Abbotsford

Hosted by Yoram Symons, this monthly open mic of a Friday night at Lentil As Anything Abbotsford features an open mic, with each month on a different theme. Free entry, but pay as you feel food helps to support the venue.

WhenThird Friday of the month
WhereLentil As Anything, 1/3 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
CostFree

Poetry at The Night Heron

Hosted by Loran Steinberg, this monthly poetry event at The Night Heron in Footscray celebrates poets reading their own work and the work of others. Usually with two featured poets on a different theme each month, those on the open mic are asked to also respond to theme with a poem of their own and a poem by another poet.

WhenMonthly on Tuesday nights
WhereThe Night Heron, 228 Nicholson Street, Footscray
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Poetryspective

Hosted by Lish Škec, this fortnightly event on Tuesday nights at The Pride Of Our Footscray Community Bar features one poet presenting their original work and one poet presenting the work of someone else, with the open encouraging you to read your own work as well as the work of others.

WhenEvery second Tuesday night
WherePride Of Our Footscray Community Bar, 1/86-88 Hopkins Street, Footscray
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Poets’ Corner

This monthly open mic, usually on the last Sunday of the month, includes a featured poet and an open mic, with $5 entry or $25 with a set meal, at the Blue Bay Cafe in McRae down on the Mornington Peninsula.

WhenMonthly on Sunday nights
WhereBlue Bay Cafe, 665-667 Point Nepean Road, McCrae
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$5 (or $25 with meal)

Ruckus Slam

Hosted by experimental artist Scott Wings, Ruckus is a slam with a twist, happening every few months at The Fireside, a theatre space behind Bar Ampere on Russell Street in the city. Alongside spoken word and poetry, performers can break all of the rules of slam where props, costumes, instruments, and other people are also allowed on stage, in a multi-round slam, where round 2 is a free write round and round 3 is a Ruckus Round a.k.a. “it’s so bad, it’s good round.

WhenEvery second month on Wednesday nights
WhereThe Fireside, (at the back of Bar Ampere), 16 Russell Place, Melbourne
Open sectionYes, slam
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$10

Sapologie

Hosted by wāni, Sapologie host a range of events at various venues, including a night of spoken word artists and storytelling celebrating and showcasing bla(c)k performers of color.

Slamalamadingdong

Slamalamadingdong, usually on the last Thursday of the month, at The Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood, is a PSI-certified three-round poetry slam where twelve poets showcase their work for a chance to qualify for major slams and international and national poetry slam tournaments, including the National Poetry Slam in the US. Slamalamadingdong also features nationally and internationally renowned spoken word artists.

WhenUsually the last Thursday of the month (some months vary)
WhereThe Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Open sectionYes, slam
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$18 ($20 on the door)

Speaking the Sacred

Featuring two invited poets and an open mic, poets are asked to respond, write and present to a theme each month related to what is sacred to them to present at an intimate event hosted in Ferntree Gully of a Sunday afternoon.

WhenFortnightly on Sunday afternoons
WhereIFTI Community Hub, 2 Francis Crescent, Ferntree Gully
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeYes
Cost$20/15

Spoken Word at Bar Oussou

Hosted every second Monday night by Hamish Danks Brown at Bar Oussou in Brunswick, this all open mic affair has no sign up list, performers just stick their hand up in the crowd if they want to perform.

WhenEvery second Monday night
WhereBar Oussou, 653 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Sporting Poets

Hosted monthly of a Sunday evening at Compass Pizza in Brunswick East, it features three or four poets usually quite accomplished on the page, hosted by podcast host and poet Alice Allan.

WhenMonthly on Sunday evenings
WhereCompass Pizza, 319 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Open sectionNo
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
CostFree

Talkbox

Hosted every second Tuesday night in Elsternwick, at Classic Southside, a venue connected to Classic Cinema, it features poets and an open mic, they host the weirdest spoken word poets on the southside. Talkbox provides a platform for emerging poets to perform their original work. They are especially interested in the perspectives of young creatives, people of colour, queer folk, and people with disabilities.

WhenEvery second Tuesday night
WhereClassic Southside, 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleYes
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$5

The P Word Sessions

Hosted by Anthony WP O’Sullivan, Santo Cazzati and Amanda Anastasi, on the first Sunday of the month, The P Word Sessions hosts two feature poets in a shotgun “marriage” of contrasting styles alongside an open mic.

WhenFirst Sunday of the month
WhereThe Motley Bauhaus, 102 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesYes
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$5

To the Ends of the ‘Verse

Hosted once a month on a Tuesday night at Open Studio in Northcote, this spoken word open mic sometimes has a band backing the poets on stage.

WhenMonthly on Tuesday nights
WhereOpen Studio, 204 High Street, Northcote
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
Cost$7/5

Words Out Loud

This monthly open mic takes place usually on Thursday nights at The Printers Room in Ballarat, where poets are asked to respond to a theme that month.

WhenMonthly on Thursday nights
WhereThe Printers Room, 60 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat Central
Open sectionYes
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
All AgesNo
Alcohol FreeNo
CostBy Donation