Our biggest event of the year, the WORD - The Front Line Grand Slam is coming up this Saturday 1st September, 7pm at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall. Every year this sold out event brings together poets from across Auckland, as they step up to their own front lines in the biggest youth slam in New Zealand!
Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to get yours here before they sell out!
We are so excited to announce the incredible people who will be judging at our Grand Slam! Each of these judges brings so much talent and expertise to our judging panel, and we are really fortunate to have them on board with us. These talented poets, artists, educators, social change champions, and community figures will be judging what will no doubt be the fiercest WORD - The Front Line slam to date. This will be no easy feat, so we wish them all the best!
Introducing our judges for the WORD - The Front Line Grand Slam:
Grace Teuila Evelyn Taylor is of Samoan, English, Japanese hertiage born and raised Auckland. Mother, Poet, Writer, Performer. Grace has two published works with ala press (Hawaii), Afakasi Speaks (2013), and Full Broken Bloom (2017). Writer of ATC commissioned poetic theatre show My Own Darling (2015 & 2017). She won the CNZ Emerging Pacific Artist Award (2014). Grace has been part of the leadership for the spoken word poetry movement in Aotearoa (co-founder of South Auckland Poets Collective and the first youth poetry slam in Aotearoa RISING VOICES), having worked with young people in youth development and the Arts since 2006. She currently holds the Visiting International Writer in Residence at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Jan - May 2018).
Richie Hardcore is a board member at White Ribbon New Zealand, Ministry of Social Development 'It's Not Ok’ Champion, working to end men's violence against women. He is an educator and public speaker, focusing on exploring masculinity and ending rape culture, sexual and family violence. A retired former multiple Muay Thai Champion, with over 25 years in martial arts, Richie is now a trainer, having helped some of New Zealand's most accomplished fighters achieve their goals.’
Carrie Rudzinski ranked 4th in the World at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam and was named Best Female Poet in 2008 at her first national poetry competition. Featured in Bustle, the Huffington Post, and Teen Vogue, she has performed her work over the past 13 years in 6 countries and in almost all 50 of the United States. A published author, her poems have been featured in such collections as University of California Press, Learn Than Burn, We Will Be Shelter, Alight, The Legendary and Muzzle. Carrie is currently a lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Arts teaching performing arts and creative writing and the programme coordinator
of The Poetry Project for the Michael King Writer’s Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ventry Parker (POETIK SUSPEKT) born in Henderson, Auckland NZ, grew up for the better half of his life in Apia, Samoa. As the son of a well-known Samoan entertainer, music has always played a major roll in his upbringing. Though it wasn’t until his early teens that he discovered his unwavering passion for hip hop. As one of the founders of the Samoan hip hop scene and a member of the local group Vital Status, Poetik found an outlet from malicious circumstances through music. Raised between the villages of Upolu and the neighborhoods of South Auckland, the young rapper has now begun to establish himself in the hip hop community as an ambassador of his home, his people and his culture. Alongside the immortal production of Ironmanny, Poetik brings forth a new as well as resurrecting an old style of the art. Staying true to his words and the teachings of his elders, he is a voice for all Polynesians.