Saturday, September 19 @ 6:00pm
Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St Melbourne
Has an Open Mic?
Over a series of workshops at the State Library of Victoria, facilitators and artists Abdul Hammoud, Ebony Moncrief and Sukhjit Khalsa have been collaborating with budding wordsmiths to create new poetry and spoken word pieces exploring identity and role of faith in our everyday lives which will be launched at a free performance at the State Library of Victoria’s Village Roadshow Theatrette on Saturday 19 September 2015 from 6pm-8pm featuring spoken-word and live music.
The Common Ground participants have met every Saturday to come together to craft their own spoken word poetry by exploring topics including identity, belonging, conflict, balance and peace alongside facilitators and community liaisons Ajit Singh, Zakia Baig and Amona Hassab. Each participant has brought the wealth of their experience, coming from a range of backgrounds. Participants have been introduced to new writing techniques, group discussions and performance styles. The performance on the 19th of September will feature the work the participants and artists have created over their journey together.
In addition to the performance, a selection of the pieces created during this project will also be set to soundscapes created by Melbourne-based producer Cazeaux O.S.L.O and accompanied by a video produced by Rogue Pixel to be released online in November- stay tuned!
This project is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne, State Library of Victoria, the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Uniting Through Faiths.
Abdul Hammoud is a spoken word artist based in Melbourne by way of Lebanon, a country that he is still captivates by and connects to. Abdul has performed alongside poetic giants like Luka Lesson, Ken Arkind, Anis Mojgani, Sarah Kay, Taylor Mali and Shihan. He has also managed to teach numerous writing classes and workshops for schools and various organizations. His art has taken him as close as New Zealand and as far as the United States, as well as to his beloved home country. In 2013, he became founder of The Dirty Thirty online writing platform, an ever-growing group for writers to challenge themselves every April. He is now also editor and compiler of The Dirty Thirty Anthology, a collection of poetry from the page he coordinates. Most of his work revolves around current issues including the constant state of war in the Middle East, cultural division, as well as the portrayal of masculinity. He is also a full time student and an avid purveyor of starting books but not finishing them.
Ebony MonCrief, raised in Birmingham, Alabama, is a writer, performance poet, inspirational speaker and producer of the open mic Voices in the Attic. Through words, she explores art, music, humanity, the universe and most importantly self. Her vibrant storytelling style engages, entertains and provides audiences with a honest look at the person behind the words.
With the world in a pretty unprecedented situation, as people already know, and although it’s by far not the most important issue right now, it’s had a pretty devastating effect on the arts, including the spoken word community.
Obviously, us coming together as a community at events in person are a crucial part of spoken word, and one the main reasons MSW exists is to support those community events. For us, it’s not just about the art form or individual artists, but how the art form brings people together, whether you’ve been doing this as a career for ages or whether you’ve turned up to an open mic for the very first time.
It’s been a learning experience and a bit of brightness amongst the darkness to watch how people have responded to self-isolation and lockdown measures by finding ways to use online platforms to continue to host open mics and other events. Alongside us starting to live stream events, we’ve been watching the rest of our community and the different ways events have gone online.
Spoken word, storytelling, poetry and writing still remain a way we can express ourselves and try to make sense of the world we live in and for us to come together as a community and for people’s voices to be heard. This remains critical in a time of self-isolation.
With most expert opinions predicting that this situation is likely to continue for months, not just weeks, the likelihood of us being able to hold in person events with an audience in July or August is pretty unlikely, and so Melbourne Spoken Word has made a decision to not hold The Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival in 2020.
Instead, we’re announcing The Melbourne Spoken Word Festival Online for 2020, with a new expressions of interest period now open for organisations and producers to propose events to be held on online as part of our program this year. We’re excited to see what spoken word
Morgaine van Wingerden, honourable mention at The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize performs ‘The Waitlist’ at Collingwood Town Hall. The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize was supported by Yarra Libraries.
Morgaine is a Melbourne based poet and artist who shares stories exploring family, mental health, relationships and womanhood. She has featured at numerous events across Melbourne and Sydney, and has performed at the Bowery Poetry House and Nuyorican in New York. She has been a member of Slamalamadingdong’s Team Slama the last two years in a row and was awarded an honourable mention in the 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize.
Miss Yankey performs ‘The Rose That Never Grew’ at Slamalamadingdong in March, 2019.
Miss Yankey is a British/Ghanaian Spoken Word artist; Founder of Poetry Prescribed; FLO Poet; Co-host and Resident Poet at The Chocolate Poetry Club; Open Mic Host at Mind Over Matter; and milli-tasking mother of twins. A passionate advocate of mental health and domestic violence awareness, she often writes poetry on these topics in a bid to takle the stigma attached to them.