NO pressure, but you have just two minutes to impress.
Reciting poetry on stage in front of strangers might be the stuff nightmares are made of for some people, but for Bathurst woman Sophie Meredith it is a whole lot of fun.
The Australian Poetry Slam’s state finals held in Sydney last weekend featured 21 regional finalists from across NSW and Ms Meredith finished third.
Each competitor must recite an original work written during the past 12 months and is not allowed to use any props.
“The fun and unpredictable element to poetry slams is that 5 random members of the audience become judges for the night. It's exciting and inclusive,” Ms Meredith said.
The subject of her performance was same-sex marriage in honour of her own relationship.
“You have to speak up for the sake of your kids. Everyone has their different way of doing that. This is mine,” Ms Meredith said.
“I wanted to use my words to galvanise people to keep positive and to keep moving forward by not being forced into being defined by the hatred that has been against us in the past but by the love that is actually all around us in our communities.”
Ms Meredith said she had practised her poem so many times in the lead up to the competition that she was more excited than nervous.
“I just gave this a whirl because I like poetry but haven't ever really shared poems or known what to do with them and these seemed like a non-judgemental environment to have a go,” she said.
“As it turned out, I just loved doing it and I have had such generous feedback from friends and family and so I hope this is just the beginning.”