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Going West Poetry Slam

Director Doug Poole, MC Zane Scarborough, Guest Judges Karlo Mila, Renee Liang and Vaughan Rapatahana.

Since 1984, when American poet Marc Smith introduced open microphone poet performances, Poetry Slams across the world have revived poetry for the people. This year Going West Poetry Slam’s Doug Poole, Penny Howard and Zane Scarborough will again team up to offer their signature fast-paced evening of competitive performance poetry with generous cash prizes. Bring your courage and your poems – register at 7.30 and show us your conviction and passion. Join poets from all backgrounds and beliefs, speak from your heart and tell us your story. Come, join a supportive audience and be rocked by the power, passion and the poetic.


Saturday 9 September, 8.30pm, Titirangi War Memorial Hall, $10.00
Bookings at
Join us to watch the best of the best complete for fame and fortune.
First prize $1000 • Second prize $500 • Third prize $300


Three finalists from each of four heats will compete in the Grand Final. Attendance and participation is free.

Heat 1
Thursday 24 August, 6.30pm registration for an 7pm Slam start.
Te Pou Theatre, 44a Portage Road, New Lynn, Free.

Heat 2
Wednesday 30 August, 6.30pm for a 7pm Slam Start
MIT Faculty of Creative Arts, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara, Free.

Heat 3
Tuesday 5 September, 7.30pm registration Slam start approx 8.30pm
Poetry Live at the Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Rd, Ponsonby, Free.

Heat 4
Saturday 9 September, 7.30pm registration for an 8pm Slam start.
Registrations limited
Waitakere Central, West Auckland’s Civic Building in Henderson.
6 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson.

Going West Poetry Slam Rules and Guidelines
Contact Doug Poole:, Cell: 021 144 6619.

Grand Slam Tickets: $10 or Phone iTICKET (09) 361 1000

The Judges

Karlo Mila.jpg
Vaughan Rapatahana.jpg
Renee Liang57.jpg

Karlo Mila is a NZ-born Pasifika poet of Tongan and Palangi descent.  Karlo is a widely anthologised poet, writer, researcher and academic.  Karlo's book "Dream Fish Floating" won the best first poetry book in the 2005 Montana National Book Awards.  Her second book "A Well Written Body" involved a collaboration with artist Delicia Sampero.  Karlo has a PhD focused on the Aotearoa-based Pasifika population.  She has spent the several years developing "Mana Moana" an indigenous leadership, resilience and wellbeing programme.  Karlo is a mother of three boys.  She is currently living in Auckland.

Vaughan Rapatahana is widely published across several genre in more than one language. He has a PhD in Existential Philosophy from the University of Auckland. He won the inaugural Proverse Poetry prize in 2016, the same year as the poetry collection, Atonement, was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines. His latest poetry collection is ternion,  published recently in England by erbacce-press, Liverpool.

Renee Liang is a poet, playwright and lyricist.  She collaborates on visual arts works, film and music, and organises community arts events such as New Kiwi Women Write, a writing workshop series for migrant women. She is a long time contributor to The Big Ideawebsite. Renee has written, produced and toured seven plays and published works including three chapbooks of poetry and eight anthologies of migrant women’s writing. She MCed at Poetry Live for four years and has been Slammistress as well as a slam competitor, including twice as a Going West Slam finalist.  In 2017 her work included The Bone Feeder Opera (as librettist) premiered at Auckland Arts Festival to critical accliam, and Dominion Rd The Musical (with composer Jun Bin Lee) was a sellout success. She won the Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize for science writing in 2012, and a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leadership award in 2010. She has also won awards for her plays, and most recently a game design award for Golden Threads (with Allan Xia), an interactive historical narrative commissioned by Auckland Museum.

Later Event: 2 September