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Standing up in front of an audience to read poetry is what GSSC student Lidia Amadei describes as “tearing a little bit of yourself out for everyone to see.”

“Even if the writing is not necessarily about your life, it is an artform that provides a small window into who you are,” the Year 12 student said.

“To put pen to paper and then say those words out loud to a bunch of strangers is a really vulnerable moment.

“Usually, I will have a vague concept of how I would like it to feel but writing it down and getting it from that concept into written form can be difficult.”

Despite the nerves, Lidia did exactly that as part of the 2022 Australian Poetry Slam Victorian State Finals held in at the State Library in Melbourne recently. Lidia progressed to the state event after competing in a regional competition hosted at the Goulburn Valley Library in Shepparton.

“I’d love to do it again – it’s such an interesting experience and I’d like to have another go and build my skills,” she said.

“I also enjoy just attending poetry slams, to listen and hear all of the different perspectives, ideas and poetry styles.”

Although Lidia is looking to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy following secondary school, she said writing and reading had always been a passion of hers.

“Growing up, I was forever being told to put the book down and go to bed. I love reading and I love writing – I will never stop writing, even if just for myself,” Lidia said.

Lidia’s poem presented at the Victorian State Finals was based on the notion of the “invisible chains” we put around ourselves when it comes to expressing ourselves through our art.

In the poem, Lidia reflects on how ‘there are dozens of lines for stories that (are) caught in a steel trap of nerves that (she) will never see written because (she is) too scared of not writing them correctly.’

She speaks about taking inspiration from her best friend and breaking free from these constraints and “letting imperfect things fall out of your mind and into the ears of others, letting malformed thoughts blot ink into pages of breaking those invisible chains and letting your soul stain the world with its imperfections.

“This is writing, it is drawing, it is creating anything you need to be unapologetically yourself for,” Lidia said.

“There is a level of heartache in cracking yourself open and bearing all that you are even if the only person who sees it is you.”

As part of the competition, poets were judged on their presentation, performance and subject matter.

For a video from the State Final event visit: