Sunday, August 28 @ 6:00pm
Under the Hammer
158 Sydney Road Coburg
Has an Open Mic?
Sam Ferrante entered our Melbourne poetic lives at MSW’s Howl open mic last year, she was looking for a place to keep her away from America for a little longer and actually looked up Melbourne Spoken Word and decided to come here to our fine city, and well she kind of fell in love with us, gigged around town, went to lots of things, became one of the co-conveners of Slamalamadingdong.
Will Beale also arrived around the same time, moving from Malaysia, with that sexy international school accent, and with Sam and Arielle Cottingham became one of the co-conveners of Slamalamadingdong. He’s been gigging around town and also immersing himself in our scene.
They’re leaving us in September (super sad face) and we wanna say good bye and see them do their poetic thing one last time. They both promise to come back and visit.
Bring a poem Sam or Will might like or dedicated to them etc. and Sam and Will will (get it?) do a set at the end.
Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY, Ireland, and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin’s Slam Sunday, Sam is now a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong. She is also Editor-in-Chief for online magazine, CrowdInk, and a regular attendee of as many poetry events as she can cram into a week. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up got rave reviews from her Mom.
William Beale is a spoken word poet, writer and actor currently based in Melbourne. His debut poetry collection, “THEY CALL US LOUD” is available throughout Australia and Southeast Asia. As Co-Creative Producer of Slamalamadingdong, one-third of Three Round Circus and co-founder of If Walls Could Talk Open Mic, William has years of experience performing, producing and teaching in international poetry communities. His work has been called “a boy howling his way into the world, despite all its muzzles”, but in real life he’s just glad he’s afraid of moths, not microphones.
Michael Farrell, Frankie Hanman Siegersma, Antonia Pont, Kent MacCarter, Gemma Mahadeo, Claire Gaskin, Carl Walsh, Zoe Kingsley and Natalie Briggs
This event celebrates the launch of the 24th issue of ‘Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry’–the LGBTQIA+ issue–with poems guest-edited by Michael Farrell. The ‘Big Rabbit Read’ will feature short readings by poets published in issue 24 as well as by poets published in previous issues of the journal.
FREE / ALL AGES
(Part of the Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival 2018 #MSWPF18. For full program of this exciting 2 week festival, go to https://mswpf.com.au)
Eleanor Jackson and her infant daughter graciously hosted me for this interview. Over tea and cake, we had a wide-ranging conversation about spoken word and its revolutionary potential.
One of the things I love about poetry is that it is deeply transgressive, precisely because of its anti-capitalist tilt. We live in a system that assigns a utility to every person and their time. To do something that is a ‘waste of time’ and makes no money — it is a revolutionary act.
I was listening to your performance of “Shave and a Haircut” at Slamalamadingdong. I was struck by the musicality, how it evoked the sounds and rhythms of jazz. I wanted to ask about musical influences. Is that a conscious thing for you?
Yes, spoken word and poetry is about musical language. There is so much resonance between the way that musicians and poets use language: for its rhythm, tonality and song. My earliest musical loves were discovered scrounging through my dad’s vinyl collection of 70s classics, including all of Joni Mitchell’s work. She is an incredible lyricist, a beautiful painter and writer, a phenomenally talented musician. Her sense of story and lyric form is just exquisite. I loved the standard folk troubadours like Bob Dylan or Elton John. The 70’s rock-folk classics almost seem daggy in their sincerity, but I think they are still really beautiful. They continue to influence me at some level, although I don’t use end rhymes the way that musicians seek to use them in their songs.
The other striking feature of your work is pacing, your modulation of both pace and emotion.
If there’s one thing I miss in Australian spoken word, it is space and silence. Pace is about finding the beauty that happens in the pause. The pause allows for contemplation and absorption, allows for the time and space to sit with a thought, to then decide if the words truly resonate. Poet and spoken word artist Anthony O’Sullivan said he thought m
Your most recent collection, ‘The Courage Season,’ opens with ‘Portrait of a teenage boy wandering the CBD, Melbourne.’ In it, you are observing a young man navigating the city and all of the possibilities. There is a sense that this may also the younger Peter. What were you like as a young person and how did your journey in poetry begin?
The main character portrayed in ‘Portrait of a teenage boy wandering the CBD, Melbourne’ is partly autobiographical, as I worked and wandered (during lunchbreaks) around the Parliament end of Bourke Street for 30 years. I remain a habitué of Pellegrini’s, The Paperback, and the Hill of Content bookshop. The poem is about restlessness, choices and searching for nourishment, stimuli and connections within and also beyond one’s stomping ground/hometown.
I was an extremely unhappy teenager who loved books, the map of the world and the idea of going on the road as soon as I could manage. I wrote my first poem on the road at the age of 28, still an unhappy young, questing man.
You have written many ‘portrait’ poems. ‘Portrait of Frida Kahlo’ is written in first-person, while ‘Portrait of David Bowie’ is in third. How do you approach inhabiting the world or character of someone else, and is a certain level of commonality between yourself and the subject needed in order to take on that first-person voice?
My portrait poems come out of empathy and research. Given my own medical history, major surgery and health crises, I can relate to the sense of body violation and salvation Frida Kahlo faced. In regard to David Bowie, his investigation into the multiplicity of identities one could adopt and discard is an ongoing investigation of mine, as I feel I am multiple selves within any 24-hour period. I’m always imagining other lives – the lives of total strangers and passers-by.
Your short poem ‘Self Doubt’ is very much about procrastination. How do you avoid the rut o