Wednesday, July 13 @ 6:30pm
The Toff in Town
2 252 Swanston St
Has an Open Mic?
Book online @ http://moshtix.com.au/v2/event/…
We Run With Wolves (WRWW) is an inclusive, brave platform for high calibre female poets from diverse ethnicities and those that identity as queer or trans. This event will help us to uncover common ground and find strength in our lived experiences – using poetry and storytelling as a means to educate, inspire and build solidarity across lines of difference.
Emilie Zoey Baker
Emilie Zoey Baker is a published award winning poet and slam champion. She has performed her poetry all around the world and is a state coordinator for the Australian Poetry Slam. She is also the winner of the Berlin International Slam as part of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival. She is co-cordinater of the Liner Notesspoken word tributes to classic albums. She has featured at Women Of Letters, Ted, The Sydney Writers Festival, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, as well as the Bowery in NYC and The Green Mill in Chicago. She also coordinates The Super Poets, who travel into schools exciting and delighting kids about the joys of writing and performing poetry, and developed the first state teen team poetry slam called OutLoud.
Fleassy Malay is an Internationally renowned, evocative and powerful spoken word artist from the UK. Now based in Melbourne, she runs two successful Spoken Word events in Fitzroy, Mother Tongue and Brother Tongue. Her quirky, theatrical and emotive performance style captivates audiences leaving them both laughing and crying, occasionally both at the same time. Fleassy incorporates both her Theatre background with her love of hip hop and poetry to create stories and poems that ooze rhythm, melody and personality. She has performed at events and festivals in the UK, Canada, Spain, Thailand, Japan, China, and Australia. She also teaches 6 week Spoken Word courses looking at the power of vulnerability and honesty both on and off the stage.
Poet, lyricist and vocalist Candice Monique has an inimitable style that fuses neo-soul, hip-hop, spoken word and soul. A diverse co-writer, her extensive catalogue includes collaborations with Professor Griff of Public Enemy, Rich Medina, Metals and M-Phazes.
Ee’da is a half-Indian, half- Malay Singaporean poet, emcee, singer/songwriter, dancer and arts educator. She broke cultural convention by leaving her family home and coming to Australia where she knew no one. She went on to become an award-winning poet and community arts worker, receiving Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence for her work in the arts. In 2015, she was awarded the UNESCO City of Literature grant to receive mentorship in diversity education through poetry in New York City. She had featured twice at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC and The Silver Room in Chicago and has performed at the United Nations Conference, Arts Centre Melbourne and venues across Melbourne. Most recently her works were featured at International Writer’s Festival in Bali and she continues to run poetry and arts programs in schools and community organisations. She is also a singer/songwriter and has supported international hip hop acts such as Lyrics Born and Dead Prez. She is the Founder of ‘Sisters For Sisters’, a Melbourne-based music and arts collective aimed at creating a platform for female artists while addressing a myriad of social issues both locally and internationally.
Hosted by ‘the patron-saint of Melbourne poetry,’ poet and photographer Michael Reynolds, what began as a one-off gig on Valentine’s Day in 1999, has turned into one of the longest running gigs in Melbourne, now hosted every second Monday at The Brunswick Hotel, with a diverse range of features from Melbourne and sometimes from beyond, and a substantial space for open mic, it is great for first time readers or performers.
Yoram sometimes has the air of a man possessed when he’s performing. I was interested to find out what drives this dynamic performer. I wasn’t surprised he suggested we meet at the underground bar, E55. When I arrived, he was already comfortably ensconced in a background of drumbeats.
Where did you start with spoken word? I’ve been involved with public speaking all of my life. From an early age I was trained to deliver long speeches without notes and without learning content off-by-heart, but rather, to take a theme or topic and improvise on it, sort of like a jazz of public speaking. Throughout my twenties and early thirties, I practiced this kind of speaking extensively, but exclusively within the Jewish community, and almost always within the context of a religious setting. Basically, I was a preacher.
Regarding the Spoken Word form specifically, it began for me in about 2014. I had returned to Australia from Israel where I had been deeply involved in the Arab Spring movement in that country. I had been engaged in everything from street protests to electioneering and when I returned I felt compelled to write about my thoughts and experiences.
I found, however, that when I actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) I was writing in a totally new way for me, using loads of rhymes and masses of adjectives and weird assonances and alliterations. It seemed entirely gratuitous for prose. So I sat there looking at my screen and wondered; “Is this was what people call spoken word?” Shortly thereafter I came across Slamalamadingdong and so it began.
Why spoken word? You aren’t explicitly in it for the self-exploration… That’s definitely true, I am not in spoken word for the self exploration per se. I am really in it for the revolution. I see the spoken word stage as a place to talk about political ideas and use the voice to inform and effect political transformation.
Spoken Word serves
You wrote a poem about last year’s tragic Bourke Street incident, which was read at the Bourke Street Memorial Service in January by the Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood. What were you feeling, hearing your poem read by a public official at a major event?
I didn’t watch the poem read live at the venue or on TV. Let me explain why. One of the survivors of the Bourke Street attack is a friend of mine. As the first anniversary of the attack approached I found myself dwelling on those days. It was a difficult month. My father had died a few weeks before, in terrible circumstances. One day I was talking to my friend about what happened to my father, trying to make sense of it all. Then, a week later, I was visiting that friend in the Alfred Hospital, trying to make sense of such a senseless act.
So, a year on, I was thinking about January 2017 when the organisers of the Memorial emailed to ask whether I knew any poems that might be appropriate to read out. That email triggered me. I spent the next three days trying to write a poem about the events of January 2017. Before I sent the poem to the organisers, I told my friend what I’d done. I guess I was seeking his permission. He told me to send it, so I did. On the day of the Memorial I watched a bit on the TV, then turned it off. Once I heard from my friend that he liked the poem, I went back and watched the video. I thought Arron Wood did a great job with the reading. As for me, I was just relieved my friend thought it was OK.
Most of your poems are rather economical and look as though they are suspended and solitary on the blank page. Others are longer, less spaced out, and laid out in neat lines. What dictates the way a poem looks on the page?
I don’t know the answer to that question. The truth is that, for me, writing poetry is all about the process. I only write a poem when I feel something I don’t understand. Once I start writing, the poem shows me its form