Featured Event


Thursday, January 25 @ 7:30pm


National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne



Has an Open Mic?


Afro Hub invites poets from Melbourne’s African community to share their experience of identity, gender and race. In response to works in the NGV Triennial hear four poets challenge conventional


Listen to the latest issue of Audacious

Listen to the latest issue of Audacious, the audio-journal of Melbourne Spoken Word, a quarterly album of spoken word of the most bold and fresh voices in Melbourne.

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Event — Thursday, January 25 @ 5:30pm

Launch: Andy Jackson's "Music Our Bodies Can't Hold"

The Taproom

Join Andy Jackson for the launch of “Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold” in Castlemaine.

The book will be launched by Terence Jaensch; host will be Ross Donlon – both esteemed local writers.

Andy Jackson is the author of “Among the Regulars” (2010) which was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize, and “the thin bridge” (2014) which won the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize. He has featured at literary events and arts festivals in Australia, India, USA and Ireland, and currently lives in Castlemaine.

Each of the poems in “Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold” is a portrait of someone with, or reputed to have had, Marfan Syndrome (which Andy also has). Many of the poems emerge out of personal interviews, while others are portraits of public figures: Abraham Lincoln, Akhenaten, Mary Queen of Scots, Edith Sitwell, Niccolo Paganini, John Tavener, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Robert Johnson, among others.

Marfan troubles the boundaries between ‘disability’ and ‘extraordinary ability’, and illustrates the complex relationship between the individual body and the social world. These poems recognise the complexities of difference, bringing each person’s distinct voice into visceral and moving poetic forms.

“’Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold’ is a book of masks, thudding hearts, lovers, doctors, bodies and their question marks; speaking beyond places where ‘the only human forms/ are all the same’, Andy Jackson’s angular ventriloquisms are canny, fearless inventions.” – Dan Disney

“… astonishingly good.” – Christos Tsiolkas, The Age

“…a rare and important collection of poems… as generous as they are compelling.” – Pam Brown

“…Beauty, imagination, understanding, empathy, recognition – this book is a perfect example of what poetry can do and what poetry is…” – H

Comment — January 2

New Year's Resolutions for Spoken Word Poets

By Benjamin Solah

You could decide to write a book, go on tour, win a slam, or run a gig. All awesome things to make resolutions for and some of you probably will. But there are a few forgotten resolutions that spoken wordsters can make to make their 2018 in spoken word extra special for everyone.

Stop apologising If you need to explain a bit about your poem, do some preamble before reading it on the open mic, do so, but do so quickly, but make it your resolution this year to not apologise or sell your work short before you show us the poem. Don’t apologise for not having memorised it, don’t apologise for first drafts, or if you think people won’t get it. You sell yourself short before anyone’s given a chance to realise how dope your writing is. Own the space. It’s your turn on stage. You deserve it just as much as anyone else.

Tell a poet you liked their work Someone’s just poured their heart on stage, they’ve probably said a line that your ear twinkles because it gives you chills but you’ve never heard anyone say anything in that way before. You might whisper to your mate, “holy shit, that was good,” or join the chorus of applause but go and tell the poet who read the poem, especially if they’re new or you’ve never seen them before. You don’t know but your words could be something they really needed to hear.

Go to a gig you’ve never been to before With thirty-five or so regular gigs in Melbourne, you’re bound to have not gotten to them all. That gig you’ve seen advertised but none of your friends go to so you think you won’t know anyone…go to that one. Bring your friends. If it’s on the other side of town, get a carpool together and go check it out. Check out that gig where you don’t know who the feature is. Read the poem you’ve read a million times already to a new audience. If you say you don’t write slam poetry, enter a slam.