One of Australia’s premiere
performance poets, David
Hallett has been writing and performing
his poetry since the mid-70’s. During the past 40 years David
has developed an innovative, accessible, highly entertaining and
original form of spoken word performance.
Twice winner of the
Poetry Olympics at the Sydney Writers Festival at the Opera House in
1995, and again in ’97 at the Lyric Theatre. Byron Bay Writers
Festival Poetry Prize in 1999, the Nimbin Performance Poetry World
Cup 2003 and the Spirit of Woodford Story Award 2005, the Woodford
Festival Wordfood Poetry Slam 2012 and Byron Bay Writers Festival
Poetry Slam 2013.
He has performed and
toured extensively at festivals, schools, colleges, universities and
Writers Centres; from cafes to cabarets to conferences, and radio and
the mid-90s David has been giving poetry performances and masterclasses
for high school students in English and Drama, and for tertiary students
of creative writing. He has presented HSC masterclasses on Judith Wright,
Emily Dickinson, Bruce Dawe, Peter Skrzynecki and Ted Hughes; and he is
currently giving HSC presentations on Wilfred Owen, Sylvia Plath and John
Donne/Margaret Edson (with comprehensive study notes); together with his
own popular and well reviewed performance show 'Rhythm, Rhyme &
During the past 25 years
David has managed and hosted two major spoken word venues on the
North Coast of NSW: Byron Bay’s ‘Writers at the Rails’ and Lismore’s
‘Live Poets!’ He also featured at festivals and tours with the
performance troupe the 'Stand Up Poets' together with S Sorrensen,
Christine Strelan, David Heilpern and Shana Gelin.
David Hallett’s poetry is broadcast regularly on ABC-Radio
2NR, and his poetry has featured on Triple J and Radio National’s
‘Poetica’. David has also performed on ABC-TV’s ‘Sunday’ arts show, as
well as ‘Bookchat’ and ‘Quantum’. David also featured in the ABC’s
National Poetry Day show ‘Voices’, and his poetry featured prominently in
the SBS documentary ‘Nearly Normal Nimbin’.
David also has a new
schools and festivals show titled 'A Century of Australian Poetry'
featuring a carousel of Oz works by CJ Dennis, Henry Lawson, Judith
Wright, and Kath Walker, as well as poems by Dawe, Skrzynecki, Komninos,
As one reviewer
wrote of his performance: “This is not poetry to be savoured in wistful
repose. This is stand up knock down stuff to split your sides in laughter
or rage. Sexual politics, social politics, political politics; this is
entertainment that jumps from the page to the stage, from the comedic to
the satiric to the deadly serious”.
In 2000 the National
Australia Day Council presented David with an achievement award for his
In November 2010 David launched a
major collection of his poetry titled 'Backwards: Selected poems
2010-1976'. The publication of over one hundred poems traces back over 35
years from his most contemporary writing to his early poems while working
at cotton and wheat harvests in the mid 1970's, through tours of outback
schools to the Sydney Opera House to the beat cafes of New
In December 2010 David
also launched a small collection of poems about Byron Bay titled 'Poetry
David Hallett is a consummate performer, who remains on the
cutting edge of contemporary poetry in Australia.