Poetry: it’s a ‘thing’ now

Poetry is alive and well at South Perth Libraries. PerthPoetryFest

In recent years the art, beauty and power of poetry has been rediscovered.  Despite the perhaps, dusty older folk sometimes envisioned reading, writing or reciting poetry, hoards of groovy younger people are being drawn to this art form. Poetry events at festivals are sold out and their poetry programs are growing. Australian Poetry Twitter account has over 7000 followers; eventfinda.com.au lists 20+ poetry events in the next month; the Australian Poetry Slam Heats are held in every Australian state and territory; and GoodReads the online magazine all about reading, books and authors, has an ongoing poetry competition; readers submit and vote to select monthly winners. Here in Perth, UWA Publishing is launching a new poetry imprint; UWAP Poetry, in response to the increasing interest in poetry reading and writing. And the 2016 Perth Poetry Festival, which runs from 5-14 August, lists nine Festival Guests; four of whom are under 25years of age.


“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words” Edgar Allan Poe. This definition has been embraced by the hugely popular form of performance poetry, especially with the 18-30yo demographic. The fascination with words and their power to deliver a hard-hitting message, to pack an emotional punch and to cause change is being rediscovered and re imagined. The Poetry Slam, a competitive poetry performance with strict time limits, is growing in popularity and is often found in pubs venues.

In support of this growing interest and enjoyment of all things poetry, South Perth Libraries have a range of poetry events lined up in the coming weeks:

Poetry Competition: Each year South Perth Libraries support Poetry d’Amour held at the Japanese Gardens at the Zoo in South Perth.  A love-themed haiku competition runs in the lead up to the Poetry d’Amour event and the winners are announced by the mayor, sue Doherty, on the night. The Poetry Competition is now open. Entries close on 9 September.

Poetry Slam: In partnership with the Australian Poetry Slam a WA Heat will be held at the South Perth Library on 4 August. Bookings are now open for poets and audience.

Poetry by Lamplight: for those who enjoy a more leisurely poetry experience on 7 September. Bookings are now open for poets and audience.

According to Andrea Ashworth, poetry helps us “feel part of something noble and beautiful and bigger than yourself”. If that sentiment appeals come along to a FREE poetry event at your library.


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