We spoke to the winner of The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, Kylie Supski.

Can you think of a moment that was probably a dead giveaway you’d become a poet?

Kylie’s career as a spoken word artist was brutally interrupted when she was only a couple of months old. A careless babysitter dropped Kylie from the change table and she did not speak, until she was magically awakened by Melbourne Spoken Word. As for becoming a poet, Rainer Maria Rilke once said: “Don’t ask me about being a writer. When you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing BUT writing, then you’re a writer.” (from Letters to a Young Poet Quotes).

How’d you discover spoken word?

After taking part in “Queering the Body” theatre workshop and performance, at Theater Works, in January 2014, Kylie could not wait to get back on a stage again. In February 2014 Kylie attended her first spoken word event at Slamalamadingdong. She missed out on reading that night. But luckily next month Michelle Dabrowski pulled Kylie’s name from a hat and this was the first time that Kylie read, and she never stopped ever since.

If you only had one poetry book to take with you in the bunker when the end of the world comes, what would it be?

It would have to be Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel.” Just to be on a safe side, Kylie tattooed one of the poems from “Ariel” (“Edge”) on her arm.

When you write a brand new poem that you just have to read, which open mic do you first think to take it to?

Kylie reads her new poems first to me, then to her daughter Savannah and her love Stefanie. Once they approved and after many rehearsals, Kylie loves reading her poems “Girls on Key” or “To the Ends of the ‘Verse” or “Passionate Tongues.”

Which legend of the Melbourne poetry scene do you wanna become when you grow up?

I think poets (should) never grow up. As for a legend of poetry scene, it must the one and only Reverse Butcher (Stefanie Petrik.)

What’s one spoken word artist or performing poet you wish more people knew about?

Kylie truly admires Kerry Loughrey. Kerry is not only a remarkable =poet but also very charismatic performer. Her performance at La Mama Theatre of “What is a poem worth” in September 2015 so accurately defines a “low value” attached to art and poetry in our society obsessed with immediate outcomes and profit. You can look this link to see Kerry talking about poetry.

Do you have a favourite poem or video?

Kylie loves all the issues of Melbourne Spoken Word “Audacious” that so well document all the astonishing talent of Melbourne’s poetry scene. Kylie was also impressed by “LOOP CITY” with poetry by Steve Smart & Amanda Anastasi, and music written by Yvette Audain & performed on violin by Sarah Curro. Kylie also really admires poetry of Amanda Anastasi. 3CR Spoken Word recorded a conversation with Amanda and another spoken word legend Santo Cazzati. I think we all can learn so much from both of them. See link.

Kylie Supski will be featuring at La Mama Poetica on Feb 14.

[Photo by Brendan Bonsack]

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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