Keep Left is the latest regular poetry gig to start in Melbourne. Started by Paulie at Noise Bar last month, the aim is for it to be a space for left-wing, progressive performance art including spoken word, poetry, music, hip-hop, rap and comedy. As Paulie explains on the Facebook group:

Keep Left is an opportunity for radical & progressive poets, musicians and comedians to come together and share their voices on the open-mic, and online. We seek poetry, music and comedy that is politically, socially, economically and environmentally inspired! We welcome new and established performers, students, educators, unionists, blue-collar workers, the unemployed, people from non-English-speaking and migrant backgrounds, Indigenous people, feminists, LGBTI people and people who are differently-abled. Keep Left is about diversity and inclusivity; not homogeneity and exclusivity.

It will now happen on the first Saturday night of each month. The second ever feature is Sister Zai on May 5 from 8pm and will include an open mic that is open to music and comedy as well as poetry. It’s good to see poetry again at Noise Bar, and in the back bar no less. Hopefully it will continue on as the space is great and there seems to be a bit of interest for left-wing focussed events.

About Sister Zai

Sista Zai is a storyteller who uses spoken word to explore the political through her personal and lived everyday experiences. Zai’s social justice work takes place within the Stillwaters Women’s Storytelling Collective, which she founded in 2011 with the intention of making diverse and underrepresented voices and issues heard in the mainstream. Sista Zai is also a radio announcer on 3CR’s Hip Sista Hop show (Monday @ 1pm on 855am), where she showcases music by women and indigenous Australians and a spoken word segment featuring live readings from local poets.

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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