Poetry Slam at Regional Library opens TINA Festival on Friday

NEWCASTLE Region Library has launched a YouTube video featuring local performers in well-known Newcastle locations performing Novocastrian poems.

The three-minute video was created to generate appreciation for local poetry and in preparation for the upcoming Regional Poetry Slam on Friday.

This month the Hunter Region Libraries and Newcastle poetry groups appealed to residents for poems about poetry.

The library curated as many poems as they could to create a short collaborative piece which six Newcastle poets and writers read for the video.

On Friday, October 2, from 7pm at the library, 16 local poets from the Hunter regional heats will compete for a chance to go on to the nationals at the Sydney Opera House. 2014 Poetry Slam champion Zohab Zee Khan will host the event.

Since Khan won the slam last year, his world has changed.

"It's baffling my brain," Khan said.

Australian Slam Poetry champion Zohab Zee Khan will host the regional heats. Picture: Louise Kennerley

Australian Slam Poetry champion Zohab Zee Khan will host the regional heats. Picture: Louise Kennerley

"This year's been pretty cool. It's opened up so many doors; I can make a full-time career out of being an artist."

This is the first time in five years Khan has not been competing in slams.

In the last year he's performed poetry in China, and he's got poetry gigs coming up in Byron Bay and Bali.

On Friday Khan will lead a poetry workshop and host the slam in the evening.

The event is sponsored by the Newcastle Library and presented in part with the National Young Writers' Festival.

Friday night kicks off the long weekend, This is Not Art Festival and Daylight Savings, so Zohab predicts the slam will be shoulder-to-shoulder packed.

Alex Morris is employed by Newcastle City Council.