Make your voice heard at Harry Hartog's poetry slam

Poet Sara Saleh at the March Narellan Poetry Slam event. Picture: Jules Centauri
Poet Sara Saleh at the March Narellan Poetry Slam event. Picture: Jules Centauri

Famed poet Maya Angelou said there was "no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you".

Well, if you're just waiting for your chance to free your untold story, why not head to Harry Hartog Bookseller at Narellan Town Centre this month.

The bookshop is holding its latest monthly Poetry Slam event on Tuesday, April 23 to coincide with World Book Day.

The event provides an opportunity for people to share their stories, raps, rants or monologues in front of an audience.

Poetry Slam host Elliot York Cameron founded the event last July with the hope of providing aspiring Macarthur writers with a platform to share their creativity.

He said the events averaged about 50-60 guests each month, with people travelling from as far and wide as Bondi and Picton to take part.

"It's kind of ironic that an event which is a competition is actually so supportive," Mr York Cameron said.

"Everyone becomes really great friends and has a great time.

"And the winner each month is invited back to the next event as a featured guest."

Arab-Australian poet and human rights advocate Sara Saleh took part in last month's event and said it was a great way for locals to hear more voices.

"[Poetry Slam] is a platform that celebrates diverse artists to share and own their stories," she said.

"It plays a critical role in providing a safe space in greater western Sydney that bypasses existing barriers to sharing poems on topics like family, love, gender equality, war and racism within our own communities.

"It is wholly by us, and for us."

Bilal Hafda

Bilal Hafda

Regular attendee Jules Centauri said it was wonderful to have such an outlet so close to home.

"I used to drive an hour or so each way to attend poetry slams in Wollongong, Bankstown and Newtown each month," she said.

"Now there's one just around the corner.

"Slams are a great place to explore vulnerability together with supportive, like-minded people."

Creative writing teacher Bilal Hafda will appear as a special guest at this month's Narellan Poetry Slam.

Previous guests have included Australian Poetry Slam champions Arielle Cottingham and Philip Wilcox.

For more information, call 4648 2211 or email narellan@harryhartog.com.au.