A new spoken word and poetry open mic was born last night at Hares & Hyenas under the guidance of ReVerse Butcher, ContraVerse. It ran as a regular open mic night in Brisbane and has come down to Melbourne. A monthly thing, happening on the first Thursday of every month, last night’s first one attracted a crowd consisting of not just regular poets from other gigs, but those outside of the regular scene.

photo (7)Speaking with one of the features for the night, Sean M Whelan, the sign that a new event is onto something is the presence of an audience not just waiting to get up and have their turn on the open mic, and ContraVerse certainly had that. Sean M Whelan’s feature was solid and powerful and the other feature, The Paul Kidney experience was certainly an experience, a mix of sound poetry and performance art.

The open mic was limited to just over ten spots and five minutes each which was monitored with the shake of bells at 4 minutes, and a squeaky dog toy at 5 minutes, but most poets were under time. There was a people’s choice award voted on by the audience, but the whole open mic was quality and the limits meant that it didn’t drag on for too long.

Definitely an open mic worth putting in your calander next month. The next one is the 4th of July, with features Simon Wilson and Lia Incognita. That’s at Hares & Hyenas on Johnston Street, Fitzroy. Get there at 7 to register for the open mic.

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, activist and the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word. He grew up in Western Sydney before calling Melbourne home in 2008, where he's performed since 2010 around Melbourne's regular spoken word and poetry nights including Passionate Tongues, The Dan Poets, Voices in the Attic and House of Bricks as well as the NGV and White Night. He's released a chapbook, broken bodies, and two spoken word albums, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense EP.
Benjamin Solah

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