Rochelle D’silva lived in Melbourne for many years, where she regularly featured around Melbourne, before returning to India. She’s visiting us again and has a stack of gigs you could see her at, so we thought she was a good starting point for our new interview series.

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

I’ve been writing poetry since I was about 6 years old so I’ve always felt more poet than human on any given day.

How’d you discover spoken word?

I discovered spoken word in 2011, quite by accident actually. I was doing my Masters on the Gold Coast when a good friend passed away. I was quite affected by his death and wrote a poem about him and shared it with my class as part of an exercise. My classmates asked if I had tried spoken word, so I came back home and googled it and was both amazed and intimidated by what I found.

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?

Too easy.

Walking,: New and Selected Poems: Kevin Brophy

I love his poetry and would gladly drown in it every day.

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

If I’m in Melbourne, my fav open mic is Passionate Tongues. Michael is easily one of the nicest humans out there. He always makes poets feel welcome and appreciated.

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

Could the growing up be optional? I greatly admire Sean M Whelan’s poetry and I’d be happy being even half as awesome as him when I ‘grow up.’

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

There a lovely young poet in Bombay called Imaan Surve. I am constantly amazed at her poetry and her general awesomeness in life.

Do you have a favourite poem or video?

She doesn’t realise how amazing she is and doesn’t share her poetry online but I managed to find one of her poems.

Rochelle D’silva will be featuring at Girls on Key, The Dan Poets, The Owl & Cat Readings and Passionate Tongues.

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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