Youngest ever winner of Australian Poetry Slam National Final

Solli RaphaelSolli Raphael from Coffs Harbour, NSW has been crowned the youngest ever winner of the Australian Poetry Slam National Final, after delivering a mind-blowing poem to a full house of 550 at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 15 October, 2017. Coming in second place by 0.1 of a point in a tie-breaking slam-off was Jesse Oliver from Perth, WA.

Stunning audiences with his intricate strings of internal rhymes, Solli’s first round performance addressed the stresses of modern life and the importance of political action at a breakneck pace, encouraging all to “breathe out yesterday’s air, and breathe in today’s opportunities.”

The final round saw Solli driving home his message of standing up to create change, with a rousing call to arms tackling the flaws of current Australian government, from the education system, to refugees and homelessness. Earning uproarious applause from a thrilled audience, he closed his poem urging everyone to “speak to those who don’t want to listen, and embrace our differences.”

“I never thought I’d win the National Final! I tried to write something that I thought would really speak to everyone, no matter their age or background, so I’m really glad that it resonated with everyone so well,” said Solli Raphael.

Both Solli and Jesse are winners of the dual championship. Solli will be awarded the Australian Poetry Slam Under 18s Prize of $500. Jesse Oliver wins the Adult Prize touring Ubud Readers & Writers Festival in Bali, Byron Writers Festival, Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Sydney Writers Festivals in 2018.

“All sixteen of the writers are incredible performers. The audience kept going crazy for each of them, so I really couldn’t have picked a winner. We were all pretty stunned by Solli. I kept thinking, “the intellect and confidence of this kid amazing! What if he actually takes the title?’” said Miles Merrill, Creative Director of Word Travels.

Jesse Oliver a trans-poet from Perth, WA writes about social justice, aliens, and star crossed love. Jesse delivers with an almost conversational style performance. Third place went Srisha Sritharan from Sydney, NSW with her passionate slam on racial heritage in Australia.

The evening also featured special performances by world-renowned slam king Ian Keteku, and Afro-Latina feminist poet Arielle Cottingham, both showcasing their devastating talent as performing writers.

“We remind each of the poets that the competition is just an artifice that gets the audience excited. The real win is that the Drama Theatre at Sydney Opera House is packed out and giving standing ovations for their poetry. ” said Merrill.

Last night’s National Final wrapped up three jam-packed days of poetry slams, forums, and live literary mayhem, which ran from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October across Sydney.

Visit Australian Poetry Slam on Facebook www.facebook.com/AustralianPoetrySlam

 

 

Related Articles

2017 Sydney Theatre Awards Winners Announced 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards Winners Announced
 At a star-studded ceremony last night, the winners of the 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced, with 37 Awards presented, shared between 18 productions which played in Sydney during the...
Belvoir announces new opportunities for emerging and independent artists
Belvoir has announced a suite of major new opportunities for emerging and independent artists aimed at supporting the future of theatre locally and nationally. Belvoir has announced a suite of...

Tags: ,

Most read reviews

Mark Colvin’s Kidney | The Drill Hall Theatre Company

How many of life’s hiccups are triggered by a series of events, out of our control, on their own trajectory to wherever they may land? One only has to watch the news – politics and mayhem – to see what can (and does) occur without any rhyme or reason.

Tick Tick Boom | subtlenuance

Over the past decade, the Sydney based theatre company, subtlenuance, has been an indispensable and vibrant part of the independent theatre landscape, dedicated solely to the creation of new work.

The Feather in the Web | Griffin Theatre Company

Another feather in the cap for playwright, Nick Coyle, The Feather In The Web flaps, floats and flies around the turbulent and treacherous cross currents of obsession and unrequited love.

Suddenly Last Summer | Red Stitch Theatre

Suddenly Last Summer is a study of the extraordinary lengths some will go to in order to shut down truth and is layered with graphic brutal allegory.

Evie May – A Tivoli Story | Hayes Theatre and New Musicals Australia

There are a lot of clichés you could toss at Evie May – A Tivoli Story, but this show rises above them to deliver an entertaining and moving show that embraces its inherent melodrama and theatricality, and is all the better for it.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required