Welcome! Whether you’re a first-time performer or a spoken word aficionado, now is the time to get your THREE-minute masterpieces together, to help us make the 2022 Bellingen Poetry Slam as fabulous as it always is.

Feel the adrenaline. Move us. Amuse us. And hundred or so other people in the marquee with us.

Yes, this year we are back in the Bellingen Showgrounds, under the big top!

I reserve the right to alter everything which follows in the very unlikely event that this becomes necessary, in order to prioritise creating a great, safe night for the audience and performers.  I will do my best to tell you straight away.

Any questions, poetryslambrwf@gmail.com, or if its super urgent, 0438 609 097

Thanks, and good luck!
Jason John (MC and event organiser)

Pre Register

I highly recommend that you pre-register your intent to enter by filling in this Google form:

2022 Bello poetry slam application → FILL IT IN HERE

I’ll also put you on the mailing list for updates about the slam, and other performance opportunities in the area.  You can unsubscribe but it will be the official communication channel before the slam.

It may be possible to sign up on the night, but usually the list is already full by then, so there may not be room for you!

Before the night

I’m working on some options for locals to get together and practice in the lead up, I’ll let you know.  There are workshops on April 2nd and 9th in Bellingen which will be a great opportunity to hone your craft.

On the night

Sign in

On the evening of the event, all participants*, must sign in between 5pm and 6:30. If you are not signed in by 6:30 your slot may be given to someone else, and you will be wait-listed. 

*If you’re a GP with a medical emergency or some-such text me before 6:30 and I’ll hold your spot.

Mic training

We will have the chance to do a bit of vocal warming up and practise with the mic ahead of the event, details will come through the mailing list for registered performers.


When your name is called, sanitise your hands and then grab the mic and the audience’s heart, mind and soul. 

There is just you and your words, and maybe some body language.

No props, costumes, music, beat-boxes etc. 

You can read your poem (especially first-timers) but will probably do much better if you don’t need to, or just glance at it.  This is a slam performance, not a poetry reading.

From your first word you have just three minutes.  You lose a point at 3:01, and we cut the mic at 3:30.

(Yes, we are going back to three minute poems for 2022)

It must be your poem, and never have got you through to the next round in the Bello Poetry Slam before, or being used to help you win or place.

You can include a small number of lines from someone else’s poem, if you make it clear that’s what’s happening, and then respond to it in some way.

Come prepared with at least three poems!

Currently we are planning two rounds: twenty performers in the first, ten in the second.

You should also have a backup in-case we have a tie-breaker. It also helps in case there are six poems before yours about COVID, and you decide to switch it up.

The winners

The winner is poetry.

The runner up is the audience.

As far as poets go, two guest judges plus three audience members will score you from 0-10, and we will use the middle three scores to score your poems.  There is some very happy making prize money thanks to Kombu for first place, second place, and people’s choice.  Judges decisions are final etc etc.