Slam poetry category added to Rotorua competition

Florence Smith with her Drama Teacher Gabrielle Thurston. Photo supplied.

Rotorua youth can enter a Slam Poetry competition as part of the Annual Rotorua Speech and Drama competition being held on 22-23 June.

Since its inception in 1946, the Rotorua Speech and Drama Competition has been a platform for youth aged 5-21 to showcase their talent and passion for the performing arts.

The competition offers a diverse range of categories, including poetry recitals, impromptu performances, group dramas in costume, prepared readings, reading at sight, bible readings, prepared speeches, and character monologues in costume.

The addition of the Slam Poetry category reflects the Society's commitment to keep the competition relevant and engaging for participants.

Unlike traditional poetry recitals, Slam Poetry emphasises performance, encouraging contestants to deliver their pieces with passion and creativity.

Competition Convenor Bridget Donovan is delighted to include Slam Poetry as a new category.

“Including Slam Poetry not only broadens the scope of the competition but also provides participants with a platform to explore different forms of expression and creativity. We already have several competitors confirmed for the category and hope more come in.

“The competition is open to all you and we want to stress you do not need a teacher to enter the competition. We have the syllabus on the website with more information about each category as well as our contact details if anyone has questions before they enter.”

Florence Smith, a seasoned competitor, is excited to enter the new category and looks forward to the competition.

"I think slam poetry can be more exciting than traditional poetry. It has more force and urgency to it. I love that it allows people to build momentum throughout the piece. Slam poetry is designed to be performed to an audience, whereas traditional poetry is made to be read on a page.”

“The competitions are a great way for us students to come together and see what everyone is up to, get inspired by each other, and feel part of a community.”

“Being on a stage also pushes you to see what you are capable of. It is something to work towards and is a great opportunity for people to build confidence in a friendly environment.”

The competition syllabus, along with detailed information and entry requirements, is available on the Rotorua Competition Society website.

Entries for competitors close on May 24, with the competition expecting over 500 performances across the two days, with three stages running concurrently. Spectators and supporters are welcome to attend free of charge.

For more information and to register, visit

About Rotorua Competition Society:

The Rotorua Competition Society has been dedicated to promoting the performing arts among youth for over seven decades. Through the annual dance and drama competitions, the society provides a platform for young individuals to develop their talents, gain confidence, and foster a lifelong appreciation for drama and dance.

The details

- What: 77th Annual Rotorua Speech and Drama Competition

- When: Saturday, June 22 to Sunday, June 23

- Where: Distinction Hotel

-  Entries for competitors close May 24

-  Free for spectators and supporters. Go to

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