Spoken Word

Melbourne is one of the most active live poetry and spoken word communities in Australia. From The Dan Poets and La Mama Poetica to Passionate Tongues to slamalamadingdong and SPORTING POETS to special slam competitions and long-time music-themed favourite Liner Notes, there is always a lot going on. Not forgetting bigger events such as White Night MelbourneMelbourne Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival, all of which contain programmed spoken word performances. The Footscray Community Arts Centre also often put on spoken word events.

Key resources for regular poetry event listings can be found at Melbourne Spoken Word as well as poet Steve Smart’s Gig Guide. Other key links for poetry event information for the city are: Australian Poetry SlamMother TongueWest Word Poetry, Girls On Key, Words Out LoudSpeak Up and the Eltham Courthouse readings.

Performance can be enjoyed at home or on the move: Melbourne is home to spoken word journal Going Down Swinging, publishing digital as well as print and audio anthologies since 1979 (as well as producing sensational, sold-out live events). 3CR's weekly radio program Spoken Word is dedicated to performance and poetry; there's also All Our Stories on PBS. For video lovers, there's the Melbourne Spoken Word YouTube channel.There are also great archives of video on Red Lobster, an old Channel 31 program, and RealPoetryMovies, run by Ken Smeaton.