"I was made a poet through heart-ache and hip-hop
art laced with big drops
where the beats fell like avalanches
and made the parts of me that were placid, dancers "
Will Small is a refreshing and thoughtful Australian voice; poetically fusing together influences in philosophy, literature and hip-hop, to communicate in a unique and powerful way. His writing is informed by faith, doubt, fatherhood and a relentless desire to ask better questions, tell better stories and inspire a fresh collective narrative where no voice is forgotten or left out.
Will has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in English and Philosophy from the Australian National University, where he wrote an innovative thesis titled: 'Slamming Hip-hop in Secondary Schools: Rethinking the Ways we Teach Poetry' and developed the 'Voice Poetry Slam' program, using hip-hop and slam poetry to give a voice to marginalised young people throughout the ACT & NSW.
Will first performed his own poetry in 2007 at a heat of the Australian Poetry Slam. He quickly developed a love of the spoken word format, and has since been a national finalist at the Sydney Opera House twice including being chosen as the ABC Radio National Wildcard in 2013 for his poem 'Op Shop Jacket'. Will is also a previous winner of the ANU Uni Pub Short Story Competition, and his short story 'The Promise' was published in Award Winning Australian Writing 2011.
Will's services have been employed by numerous organisations including Headspace, The Salvation Army, Micah Australia, Baptist World Aid, Central Coast Council, and he has been a feature artist and speaker at numerous events including Lifewell Conference, REVIVE Conference, BYM State Youth Camp, Beyond Festival and more. He has delivered countless poetry workshops at public, private and independent schools and is able to help anyone find their voice and their story.
Will is the founder and regular MC of SpeakUP, the Central Coast's monthly Spoken Word night at The Lounge Room, where Will is the Creative Facilitator.
Will has a story to tell for every audience, and a diverse repertoire of work that marvels at the wonders of birth, confronts the injustices of a chaotic world, and dwells on simple moments of hope.
“Will is also a person of real integrity, whose workshops for youth are renowned in Canberra and New South Wales. His commitment to engaging marginalised young men and women and helping them to connect with contemporary poetry through hip hop and performance is admirable and inspiring.”
Lucy Neave. Author, 'Who We Were' (2013), Creative Writing Lecturer, ANU