Local Slam Winner Competes at Nationals
The Australian Poetry Slam heats were hosted at the Moree Community Library in August and attracted a range of local competitors including a number of high schoolers and adults.
Moree Community Library Coordinator Sam Geatches explained each competitor came with two prepared original works; were handed a microphone and given two minutes to impress the judges and the live audience with their spoken word.
“The Australian Poetry Slam is open to all ages and levels of experience and the Moree heats produced some great performances and amazing talent,” said Ms Geatches.
Heat winner Nora Carrigan attended the NSW State Poetry Slam at the State Library where she delivered her poem “Pulling Together” under the penmanship of NA Carroll.
The poem describes our country towns, the reliance on each other to provide goods and services and no matter if you live on the coast or the city, you play a vital role for the future of Australia’s farmers.
“Poetry is an expressive art – it can make you mad or sad, laugh or cry. It expresses the passion of the writer.”
“Gone are the whimsical love poems of yesteryear, today the art of reading or writing poetry is exciting and energetic, like hip-hop or rap without music.”
“Add in the competitive spirit of the Poetry Slam and an audience that self-adjudicates – you have the makings of great entertainment and freedom of expression!” said Mrs Carrigan.
The inspiration for the piece came from having a Sydney audience, explained Mrs Carrigan.
“As I was delivering the poem in Sydney, I thought it would be a great opportunity to direct the poem to the millions of Australians who have never set foot ‘out of the city or the coast’. If it gives just one person the idea to ‘come and have a look at the country’ then I thought it would be worth it”.
Below is long version of Mrs Carrigan’s poem.
PULLING TOGETHER by N.A. Carroll © 2016
There’s an issue in this nation that I long to see revived
And it’s about our country towns and their struggle to survive.
In Banjo’s time the country town was staple to the nation
Till slowly for all kinds of why’s people drifted t’wards the ocean.
We can’t reverse the wheels of time. Progress makes momentum.
Yet right across this great vast land agri-ventures from all strands
Are icons of invention.
But like the doctor needs the plumber and the sparky needs the vet,
The farmer needs the country town so vital needs are met.
The baby has a fever; the header’s snapped a belt;
The hail has smashed the windows and…concerned for hubby’s health.
So we need to staff our hospitals, the agent with spare parts,
The hardware for the builder…and help when times are dark.
So think back to your breakfast or what you ate last night,
The nation needs the rural folk to fuel us fit for life.
So if your’re on the coastal strip or from the teeming city,
You can play a vital role and I tell you I’m not kidding.
Go lobby with your pollies so they’ll lobby with ours too.
Then we’ll get our tax incentives and our country towns could thrive,
Proactive infrastructure, eco industries alive.
What’s to lose from linking up, be it club for craft, or book or pup,
Service, hobby, church or sport; to share a need is not a rort.
The country town’s a mighty place, come breathe our fresh pure air,
Our streets so wide for the bullock hide ‘nd traffic jams are rare.
And everywhere there’s festivals, indigenous, the ‘arty’ kind and hearty country fare.
And we have the healing waters in our home town of Moree.
Gushing warmth from mother earth, a treat for you and me.
So let us face the future, this nation as a whole
And hand in hand embrace this land, Australia’s heart and soul.
Photograph courtesy of the Moree Champion: Nora Carrigan at the Moree heat of the Australian Poetry Slam