The Queensland Poetry Festival is probably the biggest festival in Australia that has a focus on spoken word at the moment. Happening at the end of August this year, it’s definitely worth going up the east coast to check it out if you can.

One thing introduced last year was the XYZ Prize, the only major prize for (recorded) spoken word in the country. Major prizes and publishing opportunities for aural poetics are few and far between so it’s worth having a crack and getting something in, especially with $1,000 in prize money up for grabs and your piece gets published in Going Down Swinging. It’s judged by 2016 Arts Queensland artist in resident and well-known spoken word artist, Eleanor Jackson.

Entries close July 19, alongside a whole bunch of other poetry awards.

Are you planning to send something in? What do you make of the state of awards for spoken word artists in Australia?

Photo of last year’s Queensland Poetry Festival award winners. Provided by QPF.

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