This is a ‘What’s My Scene?’ post from Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit, via founder Andrew Galan.


BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! is Canberra’ poetry slam. It is the poetry slam with The Master of Conflict who hates poetry but loves poets. It is the poetry slam which holds the record across all space and time for most 1st prizes. It is the poetry slam with The Score Adder. It is the poetry slam that never forgot how ridiculous the concept of poetry competitions are and simultaneously are not, and it is the poetry slam with an evolving community of writers, performers and organisers who have increasingly contributed to Canberra’s literary and performing arts.


Luchador El Lukio brings his cooking show to BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!
Image Credit: Adam Thomas

The poetry slam’s most recent contributions have been to Canberra’s emerging and experimental arts festival You Are Here. This year people with BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! in some part of their body took part across the festival, including in production, theatre, writing, comedy, visual arts, zine making and small publishing, and the very important You Are Here Artist Olympics.

The original Writer’s Block at the You Are Here Artist Olympics
Image credit: Adam Thomas and You Are Here


Artist Olympian poet AK-Pyjamas dodges laser beams to claim the Gold
Image credit: Adam Thomas and You Are Here


BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! poet AK-Pyjamas’ Gold medals in Twister and Cat Burglary were key early victories that demoralised the other Arts for the entire festival.

One of BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!’s core intentions is providing a forum allowing anyone to perform for an audience, no prior relationships necessary. And we take pride in continuing to have new performers monthly.


Performing at the poetry slam
Image credit: Adam Thomas

Our poetry slam is about engaging people in the event, making the most of what is at hand and learning by doing. The positive response to our podcasts have also been heartening in this respect. Learning how to record and produce sound is an ongoing endeavour. We collect the words performed at our poetry events by taking poets to whimsically elegiac locations in Canberra; such as the upstairs, middle, and downstairs food courts of the Canberra Centre shopping mall where we make them perform and answer questions.


While it has grown to run poetry slams at the Australian National Folk and Canberra Fringe festivals, the ACT Australian Poetry Slam heats and final, and Corinbank, BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! organisers have pursued careers as divergent as science theatre, international crisis management, festival and event production, Pokémon, journalism, serious gaming, bookshop management, unemployment, film reviewing, acting, and writing for graphic novels, poetry journals and zines. This has contributed to maintaining a diversity of influences on the operation of the poetry slam.

Image credit: Adam Thomas

Through all this development BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! has never lost sight of another central reason for establishing the poetry slams - it is a place where anyone can take part in poetry as audience, MC, judge, performer, or indifferent pub patron. By ensuring inclusiveness remains the central ethos of these events it has facilitated people entering the Canberra arts scene for over five years, and now has people with a part of BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! inside them nationally and internationally.


Video credit: Charlie Quinn


Be part of BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, usually on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at The Phoenix Pub, East Row, Canberra. Except when the building housing the pub explodes in debris and flames.


In memorium of BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT co-founder Hadley
Image credit: Adam Thomas


Andrew Galan is a founder of BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! and a producer of You Are Here. His poetry has been published in Australia and internationally, including in The Best Australian Poems 2011, Cordite and Jet Fuel Review. He has featured performing his poetry in Australia and internationally, including at Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam. His first poetry book is That place of infested roads (Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2013).

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Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.