PROSE: Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup winner Rebecca Rushbrook and People’s Choice winner Tug Dumbly.
PROSE: Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup winner Rebecca Rushbrook and People’s Choice winner Tug Dumbly. Scott Whittingham

Spur-of-the-moment decision earns $2000 prize for poet

A LAST-minute decision to enter the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup has paid off for Lismore's Rebecca Rushbrook, who took out the coveted trophy and the $2000 cash prize on Sunday night.

Rebecca has previously won the Lismore Poetry Cup in 2011 and 2013, and the Geraldine Bigelow Cup at the North Coast National in 2011, but had convinced herself she didn't have a set to perform in Nimbin.

But after seeing her friend Reverse Butcher get up on the judges table to performing a poem about how she doesn't do poetry to impress people and then eating her own words in front of the crowd, Rebecca regretted that she wasn't going to be part of the action.

As luck would have it, there were some last minute cancellations and Rebecca was able to enter.

Performances have to be strictly eight minutes, with penalties for going over or under the allocated time. When Rebecca practiced outside in the car and her set came in at exactly eight minutes, she said it felt like a sign.

"I was about to borrow $2000 from my mother and I thought 'maybe I could win?'"

She performed three poems; Mine - dedicated to the community achievement at Bentley, Birthday - about the birth of her second child Kess, and I Give My Poems to My Children - about the struggle of being a mother and finding the time and space for creativity.

It obviously impressed the judges, and also the other city-based contestants, who were clicking their fingers along with lines that they liked.

Rebecca said clicking is "a Chicago slam thing".

"It's a city thing, but we don't do it here, so it was weird," she said.

Poets came up from Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and Adelaide to compete.

The People's Choice was taken out by performance poetry veteran Tug Dumbly.



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