Thursday, July 9 @ 6:30pm
744 High St Thornbury
Has an Open Mic?
Randall Stephens and Steve Smart once again host one of their infamous duo sets at Tago Mago, this time bringing with them Griffin (host of Brother Tongue), and George O’Hara (one of the hosts of Spoken Word on 3CR) plus a photo exhibition with Michael Reynolds, one of the great photographic documenters of the Melbourne poetry scene.
Over the past 16-17 years Steve Smart has performed all over the world, run workshops, gigs, festivals (RIP Overload Poetry Festival) and been sporadically published. He has released six poetry CDs, various self-published chapbooks and has a massive web presence. His hair is no longer categorised as brown, it is now officially ‘salt and pepper’. As a poet Steve has been described as ‘Melbourne’s rockstar of performance poetry’ – (Perth Poetry Club), “wildly funny to deeply moving’ (Simon Leo Brown – abc.net.au) and ‘a raw, seething, hardcore poet who makes the rest of us look spineless’ (Amanda Anastasi – melbournespokenword.com). He lives in Footscray and is the current President of Melbourne Poets Union.
Randall Stephens has written poetry about other poetry, cycling, haemophilia, eroticism and sexuality, masculinity, dinosaurs and your boyfriend. People have called Randall controversial. Randall has called people idiots. Because they’re idiots. He’s been published, broadcast, vilified, ostracized, substance effected and performed on stages in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Borneo, and competed in slams in London as well as New York, but he didn’t do very well because he was crap back then and slams weren’t. He currently lives in Denial, and has toured extensively through other emotional states throughout Australia. He’s recently completed cycling across the Nullarbor from Perth to Melbourne. This adventure was combined with touring performance poetry from his first printed collection ‘One For The Road’. His first album ‘PRODUCT’ is available at www.randallstephens.bandcamp.com with a third of the proceeds being donated to Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He continues blogging poetry at ‘Tales Told by an Idiot’ (http://www.randallstephenspoetry.com) He also hates re-writing his bio, and has vowed not to do so again for a while.
Are you 16-25 years old? Do you have a passion for storytelling, rap, short stories, poetry, photography, illustration etc.? Do you want to get published and create an interactive community dialogue while you’re at it?
Then come join local storyteller Sista Zai Zanda in Yarra Libraries’ new, interactive, installation-based, community storytelling project – ‘The Poetree’
Sessions will alternate between:‘Young Creative Writers Group Workshops’ (16-25 year olds)
Join Sista Zai Zanda – storyteller, educator and radio producer for The Pan Afrikan Poets Café – as she guides the group through such themes as biography and bio-mythography, creating believable characters and relatable stories, overcoming writer’s block, self-publishing/zine-making, and more. (Dates: 09.09, 23.09, 07.10, 21.10, 04.11, 18.11)‘Open writing sessions’ (Open to all ages)
The group will write quietly for 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes to share ideas, network and socialise. Writers can choose to respond to prompts set by The Poetree group or work on your project. There is no workshopping, so it doesn’t matter what you are writing or which language you are writing in! (Dates: 16.09, 30.09, 14.10, 28.10, 11.11, 25.11)
The Poetree is on display at Fitzroy Library for the duration of the project.
BYO writing materials and/or laptops. Wi-Fi and power available. Light refreshments served.
Yoram Symons performing ‘The Whale’ at Melbourne Spoken Word presents Bill Moran at The Provincial Hotel, Fitzroy on September 1, 2017.
For more videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Yoram Symons is an engaging and unique voice on the Melbourne poetry scene, known for his enchanting storytelling technique. Yoram is a writer, poet and VR/AR producer in Melbourne. His performance work is a mixture of hypnosis and intensity, exploring the intersection of history, culture, technology and the personal experience.
Slam. Is this once agent in changing the way we produce and consume performance poetry still relevant?
For those who are not familiar with slam: Slam is a competition format in which poets are given a set time limit to perform their pieces and are then scored by a total of 5 randomly selected audience members, the scores usually range from 1-10 to the nearest 0.1 with the top and bottom scores being dropped in order to avoid bias, giving each poet a final score out of 30. The poet with the highest score at the end of the night wins. There are many variations on this basic format (which was first introduced by Marc Smith) employed by poetry competitions across the globe.
Slam boasts origins in the idea that the people should have a say in the type of content they are presented with. That is, that those who are the predominant consumers of performance poetry or spoken word; the audience should be the deciding party in the kind of work that is allowed recognition and reward. This has given rise to a style of poetry unofficially termed “slam poetry.”
Slam poetry is a term used to define the type of poetry, both in cadence and content, that is likely to score well at slams. A poet who presents poetry predominantly of this style may be called a slam poet. And while slam, by definition, is a format for competition, the world of slam poets and slam poetry is a rapidly growing one with poets who have attained worldwide recognition for their execution of this style of poetry. However, over time and particularly on our extensive and hugely varied poetry scene, the idea that the poetry presented in slam is of an inferior quality is becoming an increasingly held one.
That is to say, there is a specific school of thought which views slam through a lens that portrays the art that is presented on slam stages as simplistic, repetitive and lacking in any depth beyond the concise point that the artist is trying to make in the allotted time limit.