Overload Poetry Inc. was formed in 2002 by Steven Smart and Sandon McLeod (1954-2004). Their mission was to bring Melbourne's vibrant poetry scene into public view through an annual festival based around the regular readings. Incredibly Victoria did not have, at the time, a major annual poetry festival.
As the only annual spoken word poetry festival in Melbourne, the Overload Poetry Festival provides the City of Melbourne, and outlying communities, access to low cost or free events by local, national and international poets, performers, and artists and aims to continue doing so to establish a strong cultural identity and community connection to poetry. The festival aims to support and promote poetry in all its forms, from concrete visual poetry to cinematic, to spoken and read. It also highlights a dynamic regular reading scene in Melbourne.
Overload Poetry Inc. provides a key national, annual platform for poetry and spoken word across a wide variety of forms in Victoria. The festival promotes and showcases:
The authors of Melbourne's bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature wrote of Overload:
The festival, founded in 2002 has grown into a 16-day festival that showcases the best poets from Australia and overseas. Since 2004 Overload has hosted poets from Canada, Holland, Ireland and New Zealand, and the 2007 festival involved 96 poets and performers in 49 events and 26 venues across the city.
The group is open for everyone to join or participate in.
The festival is held annually in September throughout Melbourne. Any one can become a member.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.
The festival is once a year. General Meetings as advised to members.