Raucous way to deliver

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 08-Jun-2012

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Tru Dowling and Ian Irvine
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Bendigo is set to rhyme ‘n’ roll, when “raucous democracy” comes to The Capital as part of the inaugural Writers Festival in August.

“Poetry Slams originated in New York, where people get up on stage, and bang – deliver,” organiser Ian Irvine said.

“You’d be surprised what you can say in a minute.”

Ian and co-organiser Tru Dowling are part of the Bendigo TAFE team behind the Slam, the final event on the three-day program which runs from August 10 to 12.

The Slam is supported by Bendigo TAFE, which is also backing an anthology produced by their creative writing team at to be launched during the festival.

Tru said Slams are community events, which give everyone a chance to participate.

“You get all kinds of poems and people,” she said.

“When a poem is on the page, you don’t have the voice, or gesture or intonation, so it’s about the way you perform it.

“The best results come from people who are make you listen.”

Tru and Ian said registrations for the Poetry Slam will take place on the day, with a maximum of 25 slammers to take part. If more than 25 people register, there will be a ballot.

Five judges, including two from the audience, will give marks to the one-minute poems. Festival guests Kevin Brophy and Emilie Zoey Baker will kick off the session by delivering their own slam-poems.

Bendigo has had Slams in the past, but this is the first time the poets will take over The Capital.

“This is about including audiences,” Ian said.

“It’s about getting words across and having an audience respond.

“They can be pretty raucous events, but that’s what it is about – raucous democracy.”

Bendigo Writers Festival program will be published in the Bendigo Weekly on June 29.

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