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Local Talent Wins Going West Poetry Slam

Local Talent Wins Going West Poetry Slam


Avondale’s Courtney Meredith won the Going West Poetry Slam on Saturday night – the first woman to ever win the event.

Courtney secured her spot in the final with her poem ‘Auckland’s Talking About Me’, then won the $500 prize with ‘86’.

The fifth annual Going West Poetry Slam attracted 36 entries with poets travelling from as far away as Wellington! The event is part of the month-long Going West Books and Writers Festival 2008, currently underway in Waitakere City, West Auckland.

Poetry Slams have become a phenomenon around the world and pit performance poets against each other in front of a judging panel and audience.

Georgina Monro of Titirangi came second in the Poetry Slam, winning $200 and was thrilled with her success – ‘it’s the first time I’ve ever read poetry for an audience,” she says. Her winning poems were ‘Hardware Café’ and ‘Trainee Nurse’.

Third prize of $100 went to Jamie Banks from Half Moon Bay for his poems ‘I’m a Reliever’ and “Single Is As Single Does’. An encouragement prize of Artisan wine was awarded to another first-time performer, Leilani Burgoyne who travelled up from Wellington to enter. Her poems were ‘Paradise Pasifika’ and ‘Fresh’.

The Going West Books and Writers Festival has been running for 13 years and this weekend holds its major event – the Literary Weekend ‘The Word Around Us’ featuring readings and discussions with many of New Zealand’s best known contemporary writers.

The final event for Going West Books and Writers Festival is the annual free family day, Storyfest on Saturday 27 September at Kelston Community Centre. Themed ‘On the move – journeys great and small’, Storyfest is a fun day of storytelling, performances, workshops, mural art and entertainment.

Going West Books and Writers Festival 2008 also includes a series of exhibitions and workshops at Waitakere galleries and art centres as well as a touring programme which involves sending three writers around 14 West Auckland schools to talk about their writing.


Important dates to remember:

19-21 September: Literary Weekend ’The Word Around Us’

27 September: Storyfest


For more information visit



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