Thursday, December 15 @ 7:00pm
239 Lonsdale Street Chinatown
Has an Open Mic?
Outside the Box Press is proud to present ‘Wide Open,’ the new book from critically acclaimed Cabaret star and performance poet Amy Bodossian. This poignant, moving, and erotic poetry collection, illustrated by the author, is about to be unleashed onto Australian readers, after much anticipation from fans of one of Australia’s most unique, eccentric, and captivating spoken word artists.
Amy has been nominated for a Green Room Award, been on ABCs Spicks and Specks and Please Like Me, performed sell out shows to audiences across Australia, and headlined most of Melbourne’s top spoken word events. Now she is preparing to launch her beautiful and long-awaited new book, ‘Wide Open’, just in time for Christmas!
Launched by Alicia Sometimes, with special performances by top Melbourne poets, Koraly Dimitriadis, Anthony O’Sullivan, Maurice Mcnamara, Emilie Collyer, Yvette Stubbs, and a special comedic performance by Kimberly Twiner
Hosted by Jo Zealand. And of course, Miss Bodossian will be performing a very special set from the book.
“From high speed sex on the highway to domestic bliss. From kissing the dizzying heights of new love to skinning her knees on the concrete of rejection. From fucking amongst her childhood toys to the agony of letting go on the beach at midnight, Amy plunges into the treacherous yet expansive oceans of romantic love with a heart that will not harden. A heart that will always be ‘Wide Open.'”
“Vulnerable, honest, primal, cosmic, elemental and ultimately unforgettable. Amy reminds you of all the hurt and wonder of being alive.”
– Bronwyn Lovell, Winner of the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize
“This collection holds no punches. It is an invigorating, life-affirming book that celebrates the fierce and the hopeless in all of us.”
– Emilie Collyer, Award winning playwright and author
“Bodossian’s trippy, dippy poetry is a constantly surprising delight. She seamlessly segues into a smokey torch singer, straddling the lines between satire and serious art, sweetness and obscenity, sexiness and gawkiness.”
– The Advertiser
“There isn’t a pigeonhole in existence, no matter how well labelled, that could possibly hold Amy Bodossian. No warning, no apologies.”
– FINGER MAGAZINE
Come buy a copy for your partner, your mum, your unrequited love. Get one to read as you down champagne and cry over your Christmas Turkey! Tis the season!
The Dan is Melbourne’s longest running weekly poetry venue is now in its 24th year. Every Saturday between 2pm-5pm, The Dan O’Connell Hotel becomes, The Home of Poets. The Dan is a community of poets, who support each other’s work, and endeavour to improve their poetry. Some of the poets that perform at The Dan have been writing poetry for decades, but many, are just starting their poetry journey.
The Dan is also, for people that love to see poets performing their poems. Our poetry audience can listen, and watch the open mic, with a drink and a meal in front of them, you will hear words from around the corner, and around the world. It’s free entry, and everyone is welcome on the open mic.
Give yourself the gift of a living performance, come and experience Poetry @ The Dan O’Connell. Put your name on the blackboard and be part of the open mic. Co-ordinated and MC’d by the Dan Poet’s Collective, Libby, Steve, Anne, Norman and Tim.
Amanda Anastasi speaks to Sapologie curator, Green Room Award winner, and Slamalamadingdong Grand Slam Champion, wāni.
How and where did you first discover spoken word?
Through a collective I found when I first arrived in Melbourne. It was the first space I’d ever felt truly free to be able to explore forms that weren’t always so readily available to me.
One of the most interesting and moving spoken word pieces I have heard recently is your poem ‘Silence’. In it, you demonstrate the gaps in our speech if we removed the lies and half truths from our daily narrative. Why do you think it is so hard for us to speak plainly and truthfully?
I think perhaps it’s because of the way we’ve been socialised and conditioned to exist. It seems as if we have to be and exist in a particular way that perhaps is different to who we feel we actually are, and vulnerability as well as honesty is exposing and that’s risky, so we tend to hide behind masks we create. Perhaps.
I have often considered spoken word and poetry to be the most direct form of artistic expression. Is this part of its appeal for you?
Yes, most definitely. It tends to cut through the b.s, I feel. It allows both the giver and the listener to penetrate parts of each other that aren’t often received in the same way through other forms – not even conversations – because of the assumptions that it often carries with it at times.
Your performances are paced and phrased very deliberately through your clever use of pauses, silences, and acceleration. What are the things you have learned so far about performing poetry that you would like to share?
That there are no rules to it except the ones you make for yourself. For me, it allows me to enter a space where I can better understand myself and the world around me, in a way that opens me up to share it with those willing to hear me. It also allows me to explore new ways in which to deliver things t
The elegant Alan Pentland meets me at the Melbourne Bar, “Workshop”, to talk about the MSW poetry prize, comedy and the meaning of spoken word. Right after this interview, he retreated to his country estate to fix up a problem with a water tank.
Hi Alan. Congratulations on winning the 2017 MSW Poetry Prize! That was a great performance. Funny story about that. I was surprised to have walked away with the prize, there were so many amazing performances! I felt terrific for about a week, then I got the feeling, “What do I do now?” This felt like a watershed moment, a huge step. I thought the next step must be much bigger and I had no idea what it would be. There was an occasion I needed to rise to, but the writing actually became hard and I was quite depressed for a month. It’s funny because it’s ironic.
But I’ve started writing and performing again, I’ve got targets to aim for. I know what I’m going to do: use the prize as a leverage to contribute to the community, to others but also to myself. I think there are new ways to do things and I’d like to explore that.
I’ve been part of the poetry scene for about two years. Much as I appreciate the support mechanisms, I want to reach the people who don’t go to the poetry gigs. Ultimately you want to reach out to an audience that isn’t poets. There seems to be no prototype to achieve this, right now I’m going to non-poetry gigs and open mics — like music gigs. And I’ve been getting an encouraging response.
How did you get your start in poetry? I won an award for poetry from school. My friend and I used to self-publish a poetry newsletter in the days when you had to “roneo” them, you had to type the poems up on a stencil then run it through a machine to make copies. All sorts of people would contribute, people you wouldn’t imagine writing poetry. But then I studied architecture at uni and got into comedy, which is the kind of thing that seduces you away fr