Open House - Australian Poetry Slam CBD Heat

City Recital Hall

Open House - Australian Poetry Slam CBD Heat

Open House is supported by Young Henrys
August event co-presented with Word Travels

It’s a Thursday night and you’re ready for a bit of creative entertainment after a day in the office.

Don’t head straight home. Instead, enter a haven of possibilities at City Recital Hall, the beating cultural heart of the city. With Open House, we have curated a series of interactive events to make you laugh, think, or just relax and enjoy. From music trivia and slam poetry sessions to emerging songwriters and talks on current ideas and issues, Open House will help you unwind in style.

This August, ignite the mic and set the stage alight with the Australian Poetry Slam at Open House!

Are you the next Australian Poetry Slam Champion or a keen audience member ready to cheer? Either way, you can be part of the search for the next slam champion!

Australian Poetry Slam is a live literary performance competition where the audience is the judge. Performing writers are given a microphone, a live audience, and just two minutes to capture the crowd. Open House at City Recital Hall is hosting the Sydney CBD heat, one of 50 heats running across Australia leading up to the finals.

So bring your best prose, words and rhymes, or just sit back and get inspired by red-hot wordsmithery.

Together we can #writearevolution and #ignitethemic.

And remember - anybody can be a performer – just register on the night!


Never been to a poetry slam before? Whether you're a poet or an audience member, you can be part of the search for the next slam champion. Here’s our handy guide to how the evening will go down:

  1. Arrive anytime from 5pm (entry is free and seating is unallocated). If you would like to enter the slam and perform a poem, you can sign up from 6pm. If not, just settle in with a refreshment and wait for the performance to begin!
  2. The slam begins at 6.30pm
  3. Poems must be the original work of the performer written within the last 12 months.
  4. No musical accompaniment. No props. No costumes.
  5. Two minute limit.  
  6. The MC selects five judges at random from the crowd.
  7. After each poetry performance, judges hold up score cards using a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the highest. Of the five scores for each poet, only the middle three scores are counted. The judges’ decisions are final.

Two performers from the Open House heat will be chosen by the audience to go forth as local slam champions and perform at the Sydney Finals. Audiences at the finals will then choose two performers to compete at the Australian Poetry Slam National Final.

You can make a night of it and grab a ticket for 2by20 at 9pm for just $20 right afterwards. This August we have Brad Cooper and Bev Kennedy performing their show Kabarett, a celebration of the wild electric decadence and dangerously dark humour.

Ticket Info


This event is held in the City Recital Hall ground floor foyer. Seating is in a cocktail-table format, and capacity is limited, so make sure you arrive early to ensure you get a seat!

Details are accurate at time of publication