Jacqui Malins - ACT
Jacqui Malins has been a compulsive reader all her life, but apart from some high school Donne and Auden, poetry had mostly passed her by. Then she was knocked out by a performance by the amazing Candy Royalle and decided she wanted to try it for herself. She has been writing and performing since, and poetry has already been one of the most exciting and empowering rides of her life.
Jacqui works at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, with a background in social policy and public administration. Her arts habit extends to the visual arts and music, with poetry her newest and shiniest art obsession.
Jacqui has won a number of Canberra poetry slams, co-hosts Canberra’s Art Underground monthly open mic event and was shortlisted in the 2015 Axel Clark Memorial poetry prize.
Zoe Anderson - ACT
Zoe Anderson thinks of herself as a storyteller. She finds listening as valuable as speaking, and enjoys empowering others to be heard. Some of her words have been published in The Stars Like Sand, Meniscus, and Seizure. When she's not aspiring to having a bigger vegetable garden, she's involved in running events across Canberra including Gorgeous Mortar, a community pop-up arts hub, and Slamboree, Australia's only scout themed poetry slam. Zoe also has a day job which is more awesome than yours, and in her spare time she admires classical guitarists, collects bones and makes cheese.
Fred Van't Sand - NT
The world is like an old crumpled suit. it has stains and an air of grandeur just a bit past it's use by date. We see the possible joy reflected in well polished elbows and knees, perhaps a sign of much too much hard work but more likely a sign of life well lived. There can only be one god and that gods name is most likely Frank Zappa... or maybe Spike Milligan. I dunno and I doubt you do either. Ca plan pour moi!
Sanya Yorth - NT
Sanya Yorth is a 30 year old social worker and performing writer from Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Northern Territory. Born and raised in South Western Sydney, Sanya seized the opportunity four years ago to embark on a life-changing experience; living and working in the Outback with Australia's First Nations peoples in Central Australia.
Sanya has been writing for many years and began to share his stories, thoughts and words through spoken word poetry in 2011. A self-proclaimed 'pragmatic idealist,' Sanya's poetry invokes truth, justice, love and possesses the transformative power to incite political and social change. In 2013, Sanya made his breakthrough and successfully represented Central Australia at the Australian Poetry Slam National Finals. He has gone on to perform in support of Bob Holman (Bowery Poetry Club, NYC), Paul Case aka Captain of the Rant (UK) and as a featured artist at the inaugural Red Dirt Poetry Festival 2014.
Sanya loves life, his family, friends, partner & hip hop. When Sanya speaks, his honest and heartfelt words will leave a profound impact on your conscience and spirit. Get ready to feel inspired!
Ashley McGregor - QLD
From an early age, Ashley has had a strong passion for performing, whether it is theatre, film or music. Ashley is an emerging young artist with over 10 years experience in dance, drama, percussion and drum kit. After completing her AMEB Certificate in Voice and Communication, Ashley has been involved in shake & stir theatre company’s adaption of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Brisbane Powerhouse as a result of being selected as one of Queensland’s top 30 Shakespeare student actors. She currently works for shake & stir as a primary school drama instructor and presents on the Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ 102.1FM. Ashley is very versatile having recently been awarded second place for creative writing in Queensland, runner-up at the Woodford Grand Final Poetry Slam, and first place as Queensland’s young Information and Communications Technology Explorer. Her array of creative talents have lead her to study a Bachelor of Entertainment Industries at Queensland University of Technology, where she will develop and cultivate her artistic abilities.
Josh Donellan - QLD
J.M. DONELLAN is a writer, musician, slam poet, radio DJ and teacher. He was almost devoured by a tiger in the jungles of Malaysia, nearly died of a lung collapse in the Nepalese Himalayas, fended off a pack of rabid dogs with a guitar in the mountains of India and was sexually harassed by a half-naked man whilst standing next to Oscar Wilde’s grave in Paris.
His debut novel A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India was the winner of the 2009 IP Picks best fiction award. He scripted and voiced the internationally popular Pocket Hipster iPhone application, even though he doesn’t have an iPhone. Josh was a state finalist in the 2012 and 2014 Australian Poetry Slams and was chosen as one of the top ten writers in the 2013 SOYA awards. His debut play, We Are All Ghosts, was performed as part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival in 2014. He also co-wrote the Theory of Everything, which completely sold out its entire season at the 2015 Brisbane Festival.
His children’s fantasy novel Zeb and the Great Ruckus was described by one child as ‘the best book ever, but it should have had Dr Who in it.’ His latest novel, Killing Adonis, is out now and has received rave reviews from numerous magazines and newspapers, which is terribly nice of them. Josh is one half of the spoken word/electronic band Poetry is Dead.
Jason Marsiglia - SA
Jason Marsiglia is a performer and writer, specialising in theatre and performance poetry. He studied acting at the Adelaide College of the Arts, graduating in 2012 and he is currently completing a Bachelor of Communications and Media. During his time at AC Arts, he performed in shows such as Mad Forest, Macbeth and The Miser. He has devised theatre across various genres including comedies, contemporary dramas, cabaret and movement pieces. With a desire to create new and socially aware theatre works, Jason established Gumption Theatre Co. The company premiered The Market at the 2014 Adelaide Fringe and will premiere their new children’s show Prince Pipsqueak at the 2016 Adelaide Fringe. He has also created and devised works for Urban Myth Theatre Company.
Jason believes slam poetry is a powerful platform to raise your voice and be heard. He could not be more ecstatic to compete at the Australian Poetry Slam.
Matilde Wiese - SA
Born and raised in Adelaide, Matilde Wiese is a lover of language in all its forms and a great believer in poetry as a force for social change. Matilde studied a double degree in Law and Arts at the University of Adelaide, allowing her to simultaneously explore her interests in social justice and literature. She is currently completing her Honours in English and works part-time as a tutor teaching English, French and Maths. Matilde plans to spend next year travelling before buckling down to write her PhD. That way, she’ll have yet another thesis to procrastinate about in order to ensure that she’ll still have plenty of time for her other hobbies, which include the guilty pleasures of reading for leisure rather than study, attending seniors’ Zumba classes where she feels young and fit by comparison, and spending an inordinate amount of time with her mini schnauzer, Archie. This year, after watching endless YouTube videos of competitors in past Poetry Slams—with Archie, of course—Matilde decided to give it a shot herself. She has been overjoyed by the journey thus far and is incredibly excited to be representing South Australia at the 2015 Australian Poetry Slam finals.
Luke Wren Reid - TAS
I was literally born in the back garden of our home in Tasmania and grew up in the severe beauty of the Tasmanian bush. I travelled with my mother and brother, backpacking throughout Asia as an eight year old. I moved out of home when I was fifteen. A thirst for horror was quenched. I photographed and wrote. I met Christina Conrad and she, the artist and film maker, saved then changed my life. I have worked a million jobs and travelled. Always haunted. I write and perform regularly. I believe that through Spoken word one can learn to articulate a human existence. The great contradiction of a human being can be dealt with honestly when spilled in a poem. I have worked tirelessly as the co-organiser of Slamduggery, the Launceston slam event, to create an environment where people have a safe place to express the otherwise inexpressible. I write to come to terms with myself. With inspiration. With the great suffering and injustice so present in human existence. I performed in Sydney at the 2014 Australian Poetry Slam and placed fourth overall. I am very grateful for the opportunity to perform here again.
Oliver Garden - TAS
My very first performance was at a Launceston ‘Slamduggery’ in March 2015, which I won with my poem about coming out as trans. Since then, I have continued writing and performing at many events, including other 'Slamduggerys' and a Diversity Launceston fundraiser, as well as being featured as part of Amber Wilson's short documentary film 'Speaking Words' and reading a poem on ABC Radio Northern Tasmania. I will also be a guest poet at the 2015 Tasmanian Poetry Festival. My poems draw on personal experiences surrounding my identity, the difficulty of making decisions like dropping out of university, past and present relationships and raising awareness for the Trans Community, to educate others, and challenge negative stereotypes within the LGBTI and Allied Communities.
Abe Nouk - Vic
Abe is a spoken-word poet, hip-hop fanatic, MC and author. Ten years ago Abe was illiterate when he and his family arrived in Australia as refugees from Sudan.
Since 2011, realising his illiteracy, he began reading and writing to improve his lyrical content for hip-hop music. Abe went on to come third in the Australian National Poetry Slam and has published two poetry collections, ‘Humble’ and 'Dear Child'.
“Our scream for justice as kids in want of ice-cream was not heard, but the sound of love is at the tip of your pen provide the world with it.”
Ed Carlyon - VIC
Ed Carlyon believes that poetry is more than what many people assume. It is not just a flowery collection of rhymes; it is a medium for real discussion. A way we can describe our observations, ideas and our state of mind. It connects people in a way that is rarely experienced in our day-to-day lives, and that is where its importance lies.
Ed’s life started up in England and somehow ended up in Melbourne. His inspirations include William Blake, Wil Wagner and Kendrick Lamar, which explains his pattern of creating scathing social commentary disguised as fast paced, rhyme crammed poetry. You can see him performing at Strawberry Fields in November, or you can check out some of his work on his YouTube channel, appropriately titled ‘Channeling Poetry’.
Madison Godfrey - WA
In a recent conversation Maddie Godfrey’s poetry was described as “something you fall into” because “it’s like mainlining it”. The twenty year old student from Perth has also been called a “word spewer” due to her tendency to let words fall out without any filters. Either way, this young poet’s writing is always dripping with shared human emotion and experience. In the past year Maddie has had her work published on a poster, on an international poet’s website, in local zines, in the Hunters Writing Centre Grieve publication and within various University publications. Outside of the page Maddie has won a poetry slam, performed in a poetry stage show and hosted regular spoken word events. As of September 2015 the Perth based student will be moving to the United Kingdom to complete a semester exchange at Oxford Brookes University. Although she is only a little person, when Maddie stands in front of the microphone her presence occupies the entire space. Her words may stab, shock or embrace you, but most of all they will make you feel.
Zainab Zahra Syed - WA
Zainab Zahra Syed is an internationally touring spoken word artist, poet and workshop facilitator. She completed her BA in Political Science from Brown University in 2014. She won the Brown University Slam in 2012 and competed in the College Finals with her team in California that year. She has worked as a poetry workshop facilitator at the women’s prisons in Rhode Island, and schools in Pakistan with victims of trauma. She recently returned from a US/Europe Tour and will be speaking at the NYWF in Newcastle in October. Her scholarship and poetry focuses on the Middle East and South Asia with specific attention paid to humanized politics. Her first manuscript weaves the history of Pakistani Partition with personal narrative in an attempt to reconcile memory and the act of remembering. When not on tour, Zainab works as a consultant researcher at University of Western Australia and New York University. She is also editor for the International Alliance of Women Magazine. Her poetry has been published in various journals in the US and Australia.
Troy Wong - NSW
Troy Wong is an English teacher by day and spoken word poet by night. Since his first performance in November 2013 he has been a regular in the Sydney spoken word circuit. He was a NSW state finalist in the 2014 Australian Poetry Slam and is a state finalist once again this year. Other performance credits include feature sets at Newtown Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Little Features, Creative Conversations, That Time of the Month, and Three Poets Speak. Off stage, he has co-hosted the monthly Mars Hill Slam, and conducted honours research on using spoken word to develop high school students' critical literacy.
Phil Wilcox - NSW
Philip Wilcox is many things: a lover of tropical fish, a primary school teacher in training, a playwright, a weekend children's entertainer (Batman mostly) and a performer of poetry.
With two successful plays written, produced and directed for the Sydney Fringe. Philip merges poetry and theatre in a way that tells the truth by wrapping it in lies, tricks and tall tales. He has featured at Mars Hill Poetry Slam, Art Party, Wollongong Poetry Slam, Boundless Plains, Pollie Slam and his own
Australian Poetry Slam Finalists 2015
Introducing your Australian Poetry Slam Finalists for 2015.