Exciting news that Overland, a progressive journal and website based in Melbourne, has put a call out for audio submissions of spoken word for an upcoming digital publication. It will be edited by spoken word artist Maxine Beneba Clarke, who blogs at slamup.blogspot.com.au and has featured around the Melbourne Spoken Word scene before.
It is significant that such a well-known and respected publication is seeking out spoken word. For more information on how submit, visit the blog post that Overland published today.
Melbourne Spoken Word has had both Omar and Alia on our site before as part of the ‘Video Verse’ feature, but these two new videos deserve special mention. ‘Video Verse’ is about showcasing the Melbourne Spoken Word scene through video, as an accessible way to introduce people to poetry and spoken word, to defy the expectations of what they expect poetry to be, and to seek out more. Both Alia and Omar are the leading light in the use of video.
I’ve spoken about it before on my own blog. Through the use of YouTube and sharing links virally on Facebook and Twitter, video is essential when poetry is not on mainstream television. With preconceived notions of what poetry is about, it can be a barrier to venturing out one night to see a gig, but a short video from the comfort of your own home is easy.
We saw this year that both Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye attracted this pretty sizeable following basically off viral YouTube videos. American poets like Taylor Mali are much the same, and it’s something we can tap into. Both Omar Musa and Alia Gabres wow us with these latest videos, in terms of the quality of poetry, but also the professional quality of the videos and what it adds to the pieces.
Melbourne Spoken Word is very excited about this year’s upcoming Emerging Writers’ Festival taking place this May, especially because spoken word and spoken word artists feature in the fantastic program. It is definitely worth checking out for both writers and lovers of words. Melbourne Spoken Word is also excited because we have sponsored a writer as part of the ‘Pen Pal’ program. All of the festival’s guests are paid, and many of that is thanks to donations from individuals and sites like ours.
Featuring in the program this year are poets and spoken word artists such including Melbourne’s own Omar Musa, Jessica Alice and Alia Gabres, all regular features of our scene.
Opening Night: Stories that matter Thursday, May 24 @ 7.30pm / Treasury Theatre, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne / $20-$12
Featuring Omar Musa as well as a call to arms for writers and a range of performances.
Poetry Cafe Wednesday, May 30 @ 3pm / The Moat, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne / Free
Introducing the Cafe Poet for the Moat, Alia Gabres and featuring readings from other poets.
EWF Open Mic Sunday, June 3 @ 12.30pm / Future Bookshop, NGV Studio, Federation Square, Melbourne / Free / Open Mic
Hosted by Jessica Alice and featuring Josephine Rowe, it’s a chance for budding poets and storytellers to get up and have a go yourself.