Thursday, January 12 @ 8:30pm
744 High St Thornbury
Has an Open Mic?
Featuring poetry and music by Brendan Bonsack and poetry by Margo Coulter. Plus the launch of ‘One Night Only – #1’ chapbook by Steve Smart.
Why ‘Blame Smarty’ as a gig name? Good question. Truly MC/convenor/regular performer Steve Smart has been blamed for so many things – mostly aching heads and whiny livers – and he believes in making the best of what he’s got to work with. So feel free to come along to Tago Mago on the 2nd Thursday of the month for poetry/music/shenanigans, and the next morning know that you can always ‘Blame Smarty’. Sometimes there are sparklers and glowsticks too, along with friendly staff, a high end sound system and reasonably priced drinks. Come for the art, stay for the chaos.
The event is curated, so all features and no open mic. but the MC can be bribed if he’s in a good mood, and we do love our surprise guests. Entry is by donation, helps us pay our artists in the style to which they’ve become (cough) accustomed. Keep your eye on MSW for some interesting new tangents over the next couple of months.
Margo Coulter caught poetry after spending far too much time around poets. There is no cure for poetry however proper management of symptoms can allow for a normal lifestyle. Margo thinks ‘normal’ is just an arbitrary social construct anyway and prefers to focus on one-sided conversations with her cats, making the perfect mac and cheese and binging on television.
Over the past 16-17 years Steve Smart has performed all over the world, run workshops, gigs, festivals (RIP Overload Poetry Festival) and been sporadically published. He has released six poetry CDs, various self-published chapbooks and has a massive web presence. His hair is no longer categorised as brown, it is now officially ‘salt and pepper’. As a poet Steve has been described as ‘Melbourne’s rockstar of performance poetry’ – (Perth Poetry Club), “wildly funny to deeply moving’ (Simon Leo Brown – abc.net.au) and ‘a raw, seething, hardcore poet who makes the rest of us look spineless’ (Amanda Anastasi – melbournespokenword.com). He lives in Footscray and is the current President of Melbourne Poets Union.
The Dan is Melbourne’s longest running weekly poetry venue is now in its 24th year. Every Saturday between 2pm-5pm, The Dan O’Connell Hotel becomes, The Home of Poets. The Dan is a community of poets, who support each other’s work, and endeavour to improve their poetry. Some of the poets that perform at The Dan have been writing poetry for decades, but many, are just starting their poetry journey.
The Dan is also, for people that love to see poets performing their poems. Our poetry audience can listen, and watch the open mic, with a drink and a meal in front of them, you will hear words from around the corner, and around the world. It’s free entry, and everyone is welcome on the open mic.
Give yourself the gift of a living performance, come and experience Poetry @ The Dan O’Connell. Put your name on the blackboard and be part of the open mic. Co-ordinated and MC’d by the Dan Poet’s Collective, Libby, Steve, Anne, Norman and Tim.
You are part of the team that Slamalamadingdong is sending to US to compete in the National Poetry Slam. What excites you the most about competing in Chicago?
I’m immensely proud of Slama and of the whole Melbourne poetry scene, so I’m excited to go and represent everyone at such a huge event. I’d like to be a kind of ambassador for the amazing art being created in Melbourne and Australia. I’m keen to watch, connect with, and learn from lots of other amazing artists. I think we might also be able to push the boundaries of what American audiences think of as ‘Slam Poetry’ by bringing our own styles, experiences, and contexts into our work and our performances.
Your accent is decidedly English. What part of the UK are you from, and what brought you to Australia and Melbourne in particular?
I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, but grew up down south in Surrey. The rest of my family are from in and around Manchester, so that was an influence too. I’ve also lived in Leeds, South London and North London. So, maybe I’ve got more of an ‘undecidedly’ English accent. I wonder whether those varied influences were part of what got me interested in accents, dialects, and language generally.
My partner and I met in the UK but her mum is Australian and her family emigrated to live in Geelong some years ago. That gave us the chance to try living in another country and we fell in love with Melbourne. We said we’d give it two years and see how we settled in. That was five and a half years ago. So, it looks like it’s going okay.
Yes, I did hear that you would travel from Geelong to attend poetry events. What made getting up in front of that mic worth the small journey each time?
The poetry and spoken word scene is my community, so it was well worth the journey just to be among those people and hear their art and their stories. I think it was important for my mental health to keep performing regularly too. There is some
The ‘aperture’ of an ‘OCDiva’s’ ’appetite’ by Hamish Danks Brown
“Beauty beheld in solitude is even more lethal.” Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
In mid-December 2016, Amy Bodossian launched her debut collection wide open in the standing room confines of Ferdydurke, a venue located above Tattersalls Lane in the CBD.
It’s a slim ninety-page volume containing two dozen poems, plus illustrations by an Adelaide-born cabaret performer who usurps any stage with such panache escalating to frenzy that I’ve christened her ‘OCDiva’!
The poems hone in on personal matters: the author’s body, mind and soul; the whenever, wherever, with whoever that all comes with outbreaks of love and influxes of sex. This book is not for the prurient and prudish among us. It is intended for a ‘wide open’ readership in print and for a like-minded audience with similar gaping predilections shown when the ‘OCDiva’ herself is on stage.
The overriding theme of this book is that adults are overgrown kids dealing with the alternative facts and fantasies of love lives and that none of us are getting any younger though we can tweak time and play depending on whose place we’re at, through the detouring routes of our boudoir behaviour patterns.
This collection goes full-cycle from a juvenile tryst in ‘Remember that Sunday Afternoon’, to a reflective ‘Reprise’ via a poetic cycle of remembered episodes and personal encounters such as ‘First Date’, ‘Coat Hanger Eyes’, ‘Summer Love’, ‘Phone Sex’ and ‘Over’:
I’m not into dominating / but I do like masturbating / over the thought of you telling me things / you’d never tell anyone else, / how you say you’d like to be punished / which I’m not really into, but I do get wet / over your wounded, he