Featured Event


Thursday, June 30 @ 7:00pm


24 Moons
2 Arthurton Rd Northcote



Has an Open Mic?


Slamalamadingdong is one of Melbourne’s Premiere poetry slams, honouring Marc Smith’s slam papi philosophy. Featuring high calibre feature artists, including from interstate and oversea


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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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Reviews — June 27

Review: Jess Holly Bates' Real Fake White Dirt

By Steve Smart

Real Fake White Dirt – Jess Holly Bates Guild Theatre, Melbourne University Emerging Writers Festival, 22/06/16

There are moments, as a reviewer, when I realise that I can’t hide behind objectivity. That I use words too often to assuage my guilty (post?) colonialist middle class white consumer privilege. Because I need you to know that I’m a Good Person, sensitive and not the demon oppressor at all. I’m not bad. I’m not. I’m…’ Sometimes you have to take one on the chin and admit that this is about all of us, so I won’t hide behind objectivity to imply that I’m somehow outside the collective problem.

One of the dominant themes I took from Real Fake White Dirt is that Colonialism doesn’t end because ‘We didn’t didn’t do it’. And as a half Aussie half NZer, this show hit me right in the guts. As 2nd generation Kiwi, it’s easy to fall for the myth that we’ve left behind some kind of utopia of racial harmony and that it’s only Australia that has a toxic relationship with our first people. It isn’t true. They’re doing better than we are, but that shouldn’t take the foot off the head of colonialism.

Jess Holly Bates is fearless in dumping herself and her audience right through the looking glass if everything we hope not to be. She’s asking questions without presuming to give answers and the show never feels like proselytizing. There’s humour too, which is perhaps the hardest aspect of the show to pull off. It’s not a subject that lends to the comedic with ease but Jess pulls it off with a natural warmth and a strong physical presence and assured verse. The play is a mixture of poetry and theatrical monologue.

There’s a telephone at centre stage that keeps ringing to both break the tension and increase it, depending on the moment. Jess talks to her director as though he was not present, keeping him u

Comment — June 22

A guide to surviving Melbourne winter as a spoken word poet

By Benjamin Solah

We know. It’s cold. Most of us have been there in previous bitter Melbourne winters, our fingers all stiff trying write on the tram on our way to the open mic. When we get there, it’s hard to click our fingers. We’re afraid they’ll break off.

We’ve clicked attending on the Facebook event, in some cases bought our ticket, and we’re meant to get rugged up with scarves, floppy beanies and fingerless gloves but now we can’t seem to get ourselves out of the house. We were reading on the open mic in shorts what only felt like a few short months ago. It’s warmer at home, there are no beds with electric blankets at Slamalamadingdong and you can’t wear slippers to Passionate Tongues (well, you could, actually.)

We try and fill the void by reading poetry books in bed or watching videos on YouTube but it’s not the same. How do we get our fix of sultry Melbourne voices and the slightly askew look on life that can only come from someone who also volunteers to live in such a cold city? How do we do that and survive another Melbourne winter? How do we get to read on the open mic without becoming metaphorical popsicles?

Here are some obvious and not so obvious approaches to surviving winter as a spoken word poet.

Warm Beverages Of course, most hip bars and pubs where we congregate now serve mulled wine, mulled cider, even hot toddies throughout winter. Both alcohol and piping hot spices got us through Voices in the Attic until it left us until Spring.

If you head to Mother Tongue, chai is the drink of choice. Ms Millie’s do all kinds of coffee and hot chocolate, even chilly for extra heat. All a great way to warm your insides to go with that love poem that, we hope, someone made you feel warm and fuzzy about.

Blankets We could do this. I haven’t heard of people being kicked out of venues for bringing blankets at gigs. Find a table, couch or corner and