The Coffs Harbour Heat of the 2020 Australian Poetry Slam competition was held online on Wednesday 5 July, due to COVID-19.
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The annual event, which is usually held in front of a live audience at Harry Bailey Memorial Library, was live streamed on the Australian Poetry Slam’s Facebook site.
Three locals competed, speaking their original literary magic for two minutes each.
Judges on the night were randomly chosen from members of the live Zoom audience, and each competitor was given a score out of ten, adding up to an overall score out of 30.
The competitors were judged on both their poems and their performance when delivering their poetry.
Coffs Harbour’s Xanthe Levi was announced the winner with an overall score of 26.0 for her poem about information overload and the control others have over our information, while fellow Coffs Harbour resident Jason John was the runner-up with a score of 25.4.
Xanthe also won a $100 gift voucher from The Book Warehouse, and Jason won a $25 Wish Eftpos card.
Xanthe and Jason now continue on to compete at the Regional Finals later this year for a chance to compete in the National Final.
The competition was hosted by three-time Australian Poetry Slam finalist and two-time national runner up, Andi Stewart, and the local heat was organised by Coffs Harbour Libraries.
In 2017, the Coffs Harbour region took out the annual event when local youth Solli Raphael was crowned the youngest ever winner at the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at Sydney Opera House.
By Emma DARBIN