It was created to blow the academic dust off an old art form, but Riverina students have proved there is nothing musty about poetry.
The teenagers have flexed their creative muscles and conquered poetry slam.
Kooringal High School on Thursday hosted the Riverina Poetry Slam event, with students coming from as far as Culcairn, as well as the Wagga Christian College, to compete.
They presented original poems and were judged by a panel of five.
The three age-grade medallion winners were won by Lara Pardey, 13, of Billabong High School, Sarah Towers, 15, of Kooringal High School and George Leov, 16, also from Billabong High.
George was also the highest overall scorer, so he was named the winner of the Top Meerkat trophy (and yes, it’s really a statue of a meerkat).
Organiser and Kooringal High School teacher Tara Lightfoot was very happy with both the students’ performances and their poettry.
“It was absolutely amazing,” she said.
“I think it's important to have the fact that this is a different type of competition. We as a society in rural areas usually only focus on sport, whereas this is academic and creative rigour.”
A heat of the Australian Poetry Slam will be held at Bass Bar, Fitzmaurice Street, on Friday from 6.30pm.