First published on 26 Aug 2011. Updated on 26 Aug 2011.
The slam is back. Live poetry shindigs are happening under your nose at secret underground venues across Sydney. On the last Wednesday of every month, you can catch established and emerging poets performing original material to an intimate audience of friends, family, and welcome strays. "It's about poetry and performance stripped back to its absolute grass roots," explains creative director Jade Oldfield. "It's about connecting people from a wide demographic through an accessible and expressive art form."
Inspired slams across London and New York that she participated in, Oldfield's events have a twofold goal: to provide a platform for rookie poets and to support the many artist-run initiatives running throughout the city. There are three heats, judged by random onlookers who are chosen on the night, and two of the five entrants will make it to the final. The winner is crowned on a basis of originality, audience engagement and the x-factor.
Cheap drinks, hot soup and live music are often thrown in to sweeten the deal. But the real drawcard is that the event is open to absolutely anyone. "Caravan Slam inspires us to start writing and performing without inhibition," says Oldfield. Whether you're keen to be a poet, a judge, or an audience member, it's definitely worth watching this space.