In its 4th year, the Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word is Australia’s only national arts award that recognises the growing field of spoken word and is named after the former 2010 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence, Emily XYZ, who left a deep impression on many of today’s Queensland spoken word artists. It is open to applicants Australia-wide.
The winner receives $1,000 and publication with Melbourne Spoken Word.
Previous winners include Quinn Eades, Benjamin Wild, and Manna Marvel.
The 2018 Selection Panel was Daisy Lavea-Timo, Benjamin Solah.
Winner: Anisa Nandaula / I hate you
Anisa Nandaula is the 2016 Queensland poetry slam champion, the runner up Australian poetry slam champion and nationally renowned poet. This published poet has performed her work at festivals around the country such as the Queensland poetry festival, Townsville Multicultural festival, Women of the world festival and African Australian film festival. Her unique and captivating exploration of identity and politics has been showcased at the Sydney Opera house, Slama Lama ding dong in Melbourne and Adelaide writers center. Her combination performance, engaging use of language and profound ideas can capture the heart of any audience. She is a published author releasing her debut collection titled Melanin Garden.
Highly Commended: Joel McKerrow / The Brave Ones
Joel McKerrow is an award winning writer, speaker, educator, community arts worker and one of Australia’s most successful internationally touring performance poets having performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world since 2010. Based out of Melbourne, Australia he is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’ and was the co-founder of community arts organisation, ‘The Centre for Poetics and Justice’ (2010-2013). Joel was the third ever
The Melbourne Visiting Poets Program is proud to announce the selection of its 2019 regional resident.
Mindy Gill has been selected from Australian poets based outside of capital cities.
Applicants represented emerging, mid-career and senior talents. The applications were assessed by representatives of the program’s partners, RMIT non/fictionLab, Rabbit Poetry, Australian Poetry and Melbourne Spoken Word. The program thanks all applicants to this round.
Mindy joins the program’s past residents including Lionel Fogarty, Amanda Stewart, Natalie Harkin, Stuart Cooke, Andy Jackson, Ellen Van Neerven, David Stavanger and Alison Whittaker. In August, Mindy’s residency will be followed by the program’s invited resident for 2019, Ali Cobby Eckermann.
Mindy Gill’s poems have appeared in Island Magazine, The Lifted Brow, Award Winning Australian Writing and the Queensland Art Gallery. She is the recipient of the Queensland Premier’s Writers and Publishers Award, a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and the Tom Collins Poetry Prize. She is Peril Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief.
Mindy will be visiting Melbourne from the Gold Coast. She will be working with the program to deliver a series of public activities in early May. Details of events will be promoted through the program partners.
The Melbourne Visiting Poets Program acknowledges the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the land on which much of this program takes place. It respectfully recognises Elders both past and present.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. It is also made possible by in-kind support from its partners.
Cas Lee, the winner of the Slamalamadingdong Gender Outlaw Slam, performs ‘Brush.’
Cas is a young Korean-Australian poet, who is a currently studying at Monash University. As an advocate of positive social change, Cas uses poetry to touch upon themes of identity, mental health and interpersonal connections; exploring how wide arrays of social issues influence the nature of our relationships with others. Cas’s passion about mental health, serves as her motivator to revolutionise its study as an aspiring future psychiatrist.
Alison Whittaker reads ‘Murrispacetime’ as part Blakwork, reading for the Melbourne Visiting Poets Program, at The Wheeler Centre in August 2018.
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, life writer and essayist from Gunnedah and Tamworth, north-western New South Wales. She now lives in Sydney on Wangal land, and is recently returned from the US, where she received a 2017 Fulbright Indigenous Postgraduate Scholarship to complete a Master of Laws (LLM) at Harvard. Her poem MANY GIRLS WHITE LINEN received the Judith Wright Poetry Prize in 2017. She is the author of Lemons in the Chicken Wire (Magabala Books), the debut collection that established her as a powerful new voice in poetry.
Her next book, Blakwork (forthcoming from Magabala), is a stunning mix of memoir, reportage, fiction, satire and critique. Blakwork is an original and unapologetic collection from which two things emerge: an incomprehensible loss, and the poet’s fearless examination of the present.
Jennifer Compton performing ‘in the museum of the wars’, which received an Honourable Mention at The 2018 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize.
Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne and is a poet and playwright who also writes prose. When it comes to the poetry side of things she likes to have it every which way possible. She very much likes winning the Newcastle Poetry Prize and being given the big cheque. And she also very much likes the hurly burly of the open mic.
The 2018 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize People’s Choice Award winner, Rania Ahmed, performs ‘Red Velvet.’
Rania Ahmed has been writing from a young age but only started perusing poetry seriously in 2015 when she joined the West Writers Group at the Footscray Community Art Centre. Rania aims to change perspective via poetry and thus inspire the change within.