Wednesday, September 23 @ 7:00pm
63 Johnston Street Fitzroy
Has an Open Mic?
Book tickets at https://melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/…
Five non-conforming women take you on a poetic and musical journey into unashamed individuality.
A diverse group of five women embark on a poetic and musical journey into self-discovery. In doing so, they transcend and challenge societal expectations, gender stereotypes and often, their expectations of themselves. At times irreverent, at times funny, at times deeply poignant, they will share stories of courage, solidarity, and hope.
I am That Woman, featuring Viki Mealings, Lana Woolf, Amanda Anastasi, Jax Jacki Brown and Elizabeth ‘Lish’ Skec, plays as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015.
Amanda Anastasi’s poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies both locally and overseas. Amanda’s first collection 2012 and other poems was named in Ali Alizadeh’s ‘Top Ten Poetic Works of 2012’ in Overland Literary Journal. She also co-wrote Loop City, with Steve Smart and NZ composer Yvette Audain, produced by MSO’s Sarah Curro. Amanda won the 2010 and 2011 Williamstown Literary Festival’s Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize. She has since been a judge for both the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize and the Right Now Human Rights Poetry Prize. She has performed in many spoken word events and festivals in Melbourne.
Lana Woolf is a writer, spoken word artist, radio producer and activist among many other things. She has won the annual Percy Shelly Poetry Slam two years running (2012/2013), has placed in both storytelling and performance poetry at the Sydney Rd Writers Festival (2013), has featured at Keep Left (2012), JOY 94.9 International Lesbian Day Show (2012 & 2014), House of Bricks (2013), Laughs for Diversity (2014), The annual Percy Shelly Poetry Slam (2014) JOY 94.9, International Women’s Day Event (2014) University of Melbourne, Judy Punch magazine launch (2014), Out In The Open (2014). Lana’s collective work is self reflective and often examines the experiences of racism, sexism and homophobia that exist in the world in which we live.
Let’s have a walk and talk! As we stroll the storied streets, we’ll learn a little about the history of poetry that happened around Carlton and Fitzroy. Meeting at the La Mama Courthouse, we’ll visit old streets and pubs like the Dan and the Perseverance Hotel, which saw some of Melbourne’s original readings, with visits from some of the poets who were there on the spot to see it all happen! At the end, everyone is invited to join us at the Brothers Public House (Johnson Street) for the Passionate Tongues Reading (hosted by Michael Reynolds). Bring weather appropriate clothing and be ready for good times!
I’m sitting down for an interview with Waffle IronGirl, me on one end of old faithful (Facebook Messenger), her on the other. I’ve – somewhat unwisely – started off proceedings with a list of ‘suggested’ questions from my partner Lexi, all of them uniquely bizarre. For instance:
“How adaptable is the waffle iron as a printing technology?”
Waffle IronGirl shoots this one down:
Waffle Iron isn’t a printing technology.
It’s very adaptable personal weaponry though.
Things are off to a cracking start.
We’re here to talk about performing in Singapore (she was recently a support act in the Singapore poetry slam) and chapbooks (she’s running a workshop on chapbooks for the Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival). But I can’t resist. Where does the name “Waffle IronGirl” come from? ” I once wrote a flash fiction story about a vigilante called Waffle IronGirl,” she explains. “She used a waffle iron to dispatch with those who would violate her boundaries or the boundaries of those she cared about. When I started performing I needed a stage name, and it seemed like she could impart a courage and frankness that I felt I was lacking personally.”
I could pause here to note that Waffle IronGirl is one of the most original performers I’ve seen, and when she featured for us at the Dan, I felt like the top of my head had been taken off and I had a whole range of new weird and wonderful ideas poured in. Instead, I ask about the Singapore slam; what differences between Singaporean spoken word and Australian spoken word did she notice? “What struck me wasn’t so much the difference in style”, she says, “although that was certainly there. From a style perspective, there was certainly a more natural use of multiple languages and accents and dialects within the same
What does your name mean?
Thabani means “be happy”.
What makes you happy?
Connecting with people. I enjoy consuming art in all its forms. Art is one of the most connective things in which we can participate.
What made you leave Zimbabwe and come to Melbourne? Is Melbourne home now or is there more to your journey?
I left to study in the US and South Africa and finally Melbourne because I have family here. I just thought it would be beaches and people in swimsuits all day but had a rude awakening!
There is so much more to the journey. The project I’m working on now is about the sense of identity displacement. Even in Zimbabwe, I was not culturally accepted because I went to a lot of “white” schools. I’m still searching for a sense of belonging.
Do you know what this place looks like?
No, that’s why it’s so hard to find. But it’s not about the finding, it’s about the journey towards finding. In fact, I’m content to continuously search and not find it because it’s in the search that the most meaningful interactions are to be found.
You’re a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. What that does mean to you?
It is a great opportunity. Connecting to other writers and becoming a part of the literary world – that is the most valuable aspect. The biggest growth for me is the discipline – working on one full body of work thematically linked, where the content needs coherent narrative. I’m usually very sporadic and volatile in writing, so it’s been an interesting challenge to get into the frame of mind where I’m still authentically expressing myself but it’s a controlled expressing. Not writing to the feeling, but bringing the feeling and writing to it.
You’re part of the Slamalamadingong National Poetry Slam Team. How do you feel and what are you expecting at the event?
A lot of poetry! It’s great to see people workin