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“An Army of Poets’ Voices” Raised Loudly for Justice

Press Release


“An Army of Poets’ Voices” Raised Loudly for Justice

Major Poetry Slam Announced on NZ’s National Poetry Day

A massive “poetry slam” aimed at all voices united on justice, is to be held on Thursday 27th October, 2016 at St Paul’s Crypt (Auckland) [announced today, NZ’s National Poetry day.]

“We want an army of poets’ voices, raised loudly for justice,” says Ian McInnes, CEO of Tearfund (the convenor of the competition). “Poetry is the new battlefield for justice, and youth in particular are seeing injustice all round them right now. Those with a passion for justice should enter the Justice Slam – and be prepared for tough competition, and exciting performances. This is a chance for kiwi voices to be raised loudly, and a chance to tell others what living justly means.”

The slam host is international spoken word poet and justice advocate Micah Bournes, based in the US, who has created a video to promote the event.https://youtu.be/p64S0SV-ayk Bournes’ spoken-word poetry video on justice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpl84D-uNmY has garnered 65,000 views. Drawing on the roots of hip hop, he is celebrated worldwide for his powerful performance and written expression.

The Justice Slam has been convened by Tearfund in the lead up to its inaugural Justice Conference, a global platform on justice being held in Auckland 28-29 October 2016. International speakers such as Micah Bournes, Eugene Cho, Danielle Strickland, Joel McKerrow, and conference founder Ken Wytsma will speak, as well as key New Zealand speakers such as Rod Oram, Bishop Justin Duckworth and Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft.

As part of the Justice Conference, the Justice Slam will assemble an “army of poets” (in Bournes’ original words) setting out to fight for justice through creativity and raw honesty.

“Poetry like this proves the pen is mightier than the sword,” says Mr McInnes. “It galvanises action. The Justice Slam is a dialogue for disadvantage, and a platform for change from the heart.”

Helping out organising the Justice Slam are performance poetry veterans Action Education, a champion of NZ youth creativity and sponsoring the event is Mrs Higgins.

About the Justice Slam

• The winner will capture $500 cash (courtesy of sponsor Mrs Higgins) and perform in front of 500 people at The Justice Conference.

• To enter for the chance to compete, enter at http://www.thejusticeconference.org.nz/justice-slam with a video (quality of footage not important) performing your poem – submit the link to YouTube.

• Entries close on Friday 30th September

• Judges will screen the entries at the Tearfund offices between October 3rd-5th and the successful finalists will be notified by Thursday 6th October

• Finalists perform live at St Paul’s Crypt. For further details and full conditions of entry see: http://www.thejusticeconference.org.nz/justice-slam

The Justice Slam Finals

What: Finalists prepare to perform three different poems (3min length) over three rounds touching on the subject of justice. How this is defined that is up to the poets.

When: Thursday, 27th October 7.30pm sharp [doors open 7pm] $10 entry per person

Where: St Paul’s Crypt, 28 Symonds St, Grafton, Auckland


• On the Justice Slam night, four judges will grade the poets’ performances in knock out rounds, from 16 poets, to eight, to four- to one winner!

• Three judges will be local well-known spoken word poets, and one will be chosen from the audience on the night


© Scoop Media

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