For anyone who’s writing, wants to write, or just wants to soak up some poetry, I can’t encourage you enough to get out and see one of your local poetry events. Click the titles for more info on each event. I threw this list together in Sept 2018. Please check details with organisers / venues before you go.
NSW Northern Rivers and Gold Coast
Follow North Coast Poetry and Spoken Word for updates.
Alternator Poetry: Last Thursday of the month at Dust Temple, Currumbin QLD. Fifth Thursdays are slams, others open mic. One of my faves.
Lismore Live Poets: Second Wednesday of the month at the Rous Hotel, Lismore. A long-standing event of 27 years run by master poet David Hallett.
Writers at the Rails: First Sunday of the season (spring, summer, autumn, winter) from 2pm at the Rails hotel, Byron Bay. Plus a gala event during Byron Writers Festival. Open mic and slam.
Nimbin Poets at the Oasis: First Thursday, 7pm at the Oasis Cafe, Nimbin. Open mic. Run by the beautiful crew who independently bring us the Performance Poetry World Cup.
Poly Poetry: Second Thursdays, 7pm start $10/ with pizza pieces $20. Themed open mic. Marie Anita’s Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe, Mermaid Beach, QLD.
Unplugged: New weekly night of poetry, comedy and music. Wednesdays at 6pm, 7-21/23 Tasman Way, Byron Bay.
Temple of Words: A monthly poetry spoken word night in Byron Bay.
Stories in the Club: A monthly storytelling concert. Second Sundays 4.00- 5.30 pm. Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, Dalley Street, Mullumbimby
Poetica: a night for wordsmithing. We want to hear your words. 3 minutes /open mic. Monthly. Gertrude and Alice Bookstore, Bondi.
Sappho Poetry: second Tuesday of every month (except January), 7pm. 3-4 poets + limited open mic. Sappho bookshop, Glebe.
Caravan Slam:Caravan Slam is a loose collection of poets whose joy is to bring performance poetry to the world. We perform all over Sydney.
Bankstown Poetry Slam: the largest regular poetry slam in the country. We host monthly slams at the Bankstown Arts Centre. Last Sunday of the month.
Live poets at Don Bank: Live Poets meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month from February to November (inclusive). We feature special guests in poetry and unplugged music. We also welcome in our open section anyone who wants to recite, sing, tell a story, or play an instrument.
Granville Poetry Slam: monthly poetry slam in Granville.
The Sydney Poetry Lounge is a poetry open-mic at The Friend in Hand, Glebe. First Tuesday of every month.
Spoken at Lentils: open mic night open to newbies and old timers alike. time limit is eight minutes. Lentil as Anything, Newtown
Word-In-Hand: Sydney’s premier and most diverse performance and storytelling gig, held on the first Tuesday of every second month at the Red Rattler in Marrickville. Re-launching in Feb 2019.
Poets @ Petersham Bowlo: monthly open mic soiree (3rd Thurs each month, from 6.30pm)
Loose Leaf literature: Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville. Tickets are $10 on the door or available online via Eventbrite. Good food and drinks available all night.
Poetry Sydney held by Brett Whiteley Studio: regular poetry readings, now held on the first Sunday of the month from March to November. Admission is free.
Narellan Poetry Slam: new event at Harry Hartog booksellers. Third Tuesday of the month, 6:30 for 7pm. Admission $5.
Enough Said Poetry Slam: Poetry, poets, people who love poetry and poets, in Wollongong. Last Thursday of every month.
Girls on Key is a gig series featuring female and non-binary poets raising funds for a variety of charities. We have chapters in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Castlemaine and Port Kembla.
Central Coast and Newcastle
Poetry at Pub 3rd & 5th Mondays of the Month at the Wickham Park Hotel, corner of Maitland Road and Albert St, Wickham, commencing at 7.30pm.
Word Hurl Antislam a no rules, spoken word, open mic, poetry night. 1st Tuesday of the month at the Clarendon, Newcastle.
Heart Open A bi-monthly celebration of creativity, featuring women and non-binary artists of all kinds.
Outspoken bi-monthly event featuring feminist women in conversation
Newcastle Feminist Poetry details TBC
Radical poetry salon details TBC
The Press Book House regular poetry readings
Cuplet A monthly night of top class touring and local poets at The Beaumont, Hamilton
SpeakUP a monthly Spoken Word night at the Lounge Room, Gosford.
That Poetry Thing at Smith’s Alternative Bookshop every Monday, 7-9pm
BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! at Smiths Alternative, the 3RD WEDNESDAY of every month. Sign-up 7:30pm, SLAMMING starts at 8pm; it is all over by 11pm.
Ruckus Slam: Brisbane’s infamous open mic SLAM! Your original work – poem, song, rant, lyrics. Also runs a youth slam and cabaret slam.
Poetry Showetry: new night in West End
Kurilpa Poets: last Sunday of every month; at the Old Croquet Club on the corner of Musgrave Park, 91 Cordelia Street, West End. Also holds the Kurilpa Cup.
Poet’s Corner: second Saturdays 2pm at Kelesa coffee shop and tearoom, Maroochydore.
Sunshine Coast Spoken Word: Third Saturday 2pm at Homegrown cafe, Palmwoods. Hosted by Robyn Archbold (Archie). Open mic +feature poets, $10 entry.
Australian Poetry Slam: Live poetry competition where the audience is the judge. With a nationwide round of 50 heats, the best slammers will compete to win the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at Sydney Opera House. See page for regional and city heats.
Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup: Australia’s largest cash prize for performance poetry with over $5000 in prizes. The annual NPPWC is held on the first weekend of September and is sponsored by the community of Nimbin. Thanks to all the volunteer support the event is growing in size and reputation each season. After the Saturday heats and Sunday semi-finals, 8 finalists perform at the Nimbin Town Hall for the Grand Final Prize on Sunday night.
Poetry Slam at Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival: Prepare 3 poems of 3 minutes (maximum) for 3 possible rounds. Run by Elizabeth Routledge, renowned poet, playwright, actor and local legend.
Storyfest: A 3-day festival of spoken-word and performing writers, including workshops and international guests. 19-21 Oct 2018, The Rocks, Sydney.
Unspoken Words: 7-9 Sept 2018, Red Rattler, Sydney.
Queensland Poetry Festival: An annual event which brings poets from throughout Australia and overseas together for a three day festival in Brisbane. August.
The Bunker: Spoken word and storytelling workshops and competitions as part of Horizon Festival. Aug-Sept, Sunshine Coast.
Spoken Word at National Folk Festival: A program of poets, comedians, performers, talks, books, including the Poets’ Breakfast. Easter long weekend, Canberra.
Word at Woodford Folk Festival: A program of slam, bush and performance poetry, debates, storytelling, comedy and the tongue twister that is the strange beast: Word. One week over New Year, Woodford QLD.