Get ready to party with Voices in the Wild

If anyone knows how to throw a literary party, it’s the slam poets! Get ready for Byron Writers Festival’s Saturday night feature event, Voices In the Wild, a cabaret of spoken word that will bring the house down.

This separately ticketed evening event features the powerful voices of Maxine Beneba Clarke, Madison Godfrey, Miles Merrill, Sarah Temporal, Jo Yang, plus winners from Poets Out Loud Slam and Australian Poetry Slam heat, and is hosted by David Stavanger.

Traversing topics such as race, climate change, gender euphoria and mental health with empathy and hope for the future, Voices in the Wild will take guests on a unique journey, using language in its most commanding form of lyrical storytelling.

So who’s on the bill…

Performing writer Miles Merrill brought poetry slams to Australia from Chicago, and is back for Byron Writers Festival 2023. He is the spark for dozens of story sharing programs across the Asia-Pacific.

Sarah Temporal is a prize-winning Northern Rivers based performance poet and the founder of Poets Out Loud. Her upcoming debut collection is Tight Bindings, which explores embodiment and the stories that bind us.

Also on the line-up is Jo Yang, a proud Chinese-Australian on a mission to connect people through empathy and humour. Jo is the 2022 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, as well as a high school teacher, podcaster, writer, and poet.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of over 10 books for adults and children and Poet in Residence at the University of Melbourne. Her recent poetry collection It’s the Sound of the Thing: 100 new poems for young people celebrates the joy of language and features enticing and relatable poems about everyday life.

Madison Godfrey (they/them) is a writer and educator who has performed at venues such as The Sydney Opera House, Glastonbury Festival and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Madison is the author of Dress Rehearsals, which ArtsHub describes as a “fiercely punk and undeniably powerful” poetic manifesto, exploring coming of age, gender euphoria and complicated colours of memory and desire.

Last, but certainly not least, David Stavanger will be hosting the event. Apoet, performer, producer, and lapsed psychologist, David is also the co-editor of Admissions: Voices Within Mental Health. His latest collection Case Notes won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.

Voices in the Wild is sure to leave every member of the audience emboldened by the change individual and collective voices can make.

See you there!

Saturday 12 August, 6.30pm at Bangalow’s A&I Hall. Bar open from 6pm. Tickets are $35 and selling fast, so don’t delay. Get yours at

Byron Writers Festival