Piriye Altraide performs ‘How Do You Say Your Name?’ at Melbourne Spoken Word presents Arielle Cottingham, at Howler, October 8, 2017.
Piriye Altraide is a Nigerian born writer, spoken-word artist and self-proclaimed dancefloor extraordinaire. Having escaped Perth and her past life as a Chartered Accountant, she is now a Melbournian undertaking a Masters in Creative Writing. Piriye’s work centres on identity, belonging and the journey to self-acceptance in the context of the African-Australian diaspora. Piriye has featured at Afro Hub, The Howler and for Multicultural Arts Victoria. She is a 2014 Perth Poetry Slam finalist, co-curator of RMIT’s Unlecture series, and has had her work published in Mirrors of Africa, Myriad and The Lifted Brow.
Tim Evans performs ‘Poem, Interrupted’ at The 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, where he was awarded an honourable mention.
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Tim Evans is still recovering from being English and can be found performing his poems at gigs and slams all over Melbourne and beyond. His hobbies are anxiety, depression and jokes and he often does them all at the same time. He’s been published on Audacious Vol. 4, has featured at The Dan O’Connell, Owl & Cat Readings, Poetry at Tago Mago and Poet’s Corner and was a Slamalongdingdong 2017 finalist. Several people have said nice things about his poetry but have refused to go on the record. He likes using self-deprecation but he isn’t very good at it.
Chalise van Wyngaardt performing ‘Truth’ at The 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. Chalise was awarded an Honourable Mention.
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Chalise van Wyngaardt is a poet, theatre-maker and performance artist who believes truth is found outside the comfort zone. Having performed across Melbourne through numerous events and festivals including White Night, Seven Sisters and The Village fest, Chalise is renowned for her provocative and experimental performance styles that challenge the genre of spoken word at a core level. Chalise’s debut poetry collection Author and Melody is now available online through Melbournespokenword.com, and select bookstores across Melbourne
You could decide to write a book, go on tour, win a slam, or run a gig. All awesome things to make resolutions for and some of you probably will. But there are a few forgotten resolutions that spoken wordsters can make to make their 2018 in spoken word extra special for everyone.
Stop apologising If you need to explain a bit about your poem, do some preamble before reading it on the open mic, do so, but do so quickly, but make it your resolution this year to not apologise or sell your work short before you show us the poem. Don’t apologise for not having memorised it, don’t apologise for first drafts, or if you think people won’t get it. You sell yourself short before anyone’s given a chance to realise how dope your writing is. Own the space. It’s your turn on stage. You deserve it just as much as anyone else.
Tell a poet you liked their work Someone’s just poured their heart on stage, they’ve probably said a line that your ear twinkles because it gives you chills but you’ve never heard anyone say anything in that way before. You might whisper to your mate, “holy shit, that was good,” or join the chorus of applause but go and tell the poet who read the poem, especially if they’re new or you’ve never seen them before. You don’t know but your words could be something they really needed to hear.
Go to a gig you’ve never been to before With thirty-five or so regular gigs in Melbourne, you’re bound to have not gotten to them all. That gig you’ve seen advertised but none of your friends go to so you think you won’t know anyone…go to that one. Bring your friends. If it’s on the other side of town, get a carpool together and go check it out. Check out that gig where you don’t know who the feature is. Read the poem you’ve read a million times already to a new audience. If you say you don’t write slam poetry, enter a slam.