Wednesday, May 13 @ 7:30pm
204 High Street,
Has an Open Mic?
Sign up on the night (reduced door charge for open mikers) Get there early to secure a spot on the list.
The next instalment of Girls on Key will be POETRY.
Featuring Anne Carson, Bigoa Chuol and Gemma Mahadeo. We will have musical accompaniment for your listening pleasure.
The focus of the evening is to find a more contemplative space in the sea of poetry readings and spoken word events. Allowing the words on the page room to breathe and be heard, without some of the bells and whistles.
Girls on Key was established to provide opportunities for women performers and to raise funds for refugee girls to learn music through the Fitzroy Learning Network.
Delicious crepes and mulled wine! Can’t go wrong.
Melbourne Spoken Word, with the support of Yarra Libraries, presents Fresh Voices, a spoken word event for emerging spoken word artists and poets in Melbourne.
This August we’re featuring Mumu, Caitlin Saunders, Gerard L. Fitzgerald, and Katie Lohner. Hosted by Rowan White.
Each event features four poets that have rarely or never featured on the spoken word scene, found from watching poets rock the open mic around town and noticing who hasn’t had a chance to perform a longer, paid set before or rarely and inviting them to perform.
It also features an open section especially for new or first time poets from around the scene. If you’ve open miced elsewhere a lot, we ask you go on the waiting list to let new poets have a chance. There’s a 5-minute limit to allow as many people to perform as possible. We ask you please keep to that limit to respect the other poets performing.
Doors open at 6pm. You sign up for the open mic at the door.
It’s free but please book so we get an idea of numbers.
The space is alcohol-free, all ages and wheelchair accessible. Some light snacks and refreshments are provided for a small price.
I like to think that every poem or collection has a ‘hook’, or a ‘way in’ that reveals itself gradually to its reader or listener. When reading John Englezos’ collection If The World Were Upside Down, it seemed important to honour that John is a poet whose words need to be heard as he performs them, rather than to be read off the page.
Thankfully, there’s lots of clips online of John performing many of the poems in this collection. I wanted to start with the one that personally ‘hooked’ me in – ‘The Proper Way to Make a Cup of Tea (YouTube)’:
I admittedly giggled cheekily at the beginning words, because I am a tea-lover, and also may still fall in love with not-just-men:
If you wish to learn the proper way to make a cup of tea
meet a girl
fall in love
and get married
John preempts the feelings this might bring up in the reader/listener – perhaps ridicule, amusement, excitement, inward groaning as the poem continues:
Hear me out
In an age where gas was lit and fire burned
a kettle would whistle to you the constant reminder of its boiling brew
Now he’s captured our full attention, and we feel like we need to know what has to follow – he’s mentioned things that are common to many of our everyday lives, and we want to know: what does making tea well have to do with love, with care, with intentional acts shared?
This collection is full of poems that celebrate the wonder in the ordinary, in those things we might take for granted in our lives. I especially like that ‘The Proper Way to Make a Cup of Tea’ can also be taken as an exercise in mindfulness. From a mental health perspective, the act of listening to or of reading a poem that talks to you the way John does is incredibly comforting, or downright amusingly raucous.
An example of his playful, more surrealist take on life is in the title poem ‘If The Worl
Rhiann Isaacs performed ‘Taking Back the Neighbourhood’ at the Slamalamadingdong New Shit Slam at The Melba Spiegeltent.
Rhiann Isaacs is an outspoken Afro-Guyanese poet that has nurtured a love for words and storytelling from a young age. Rhiann’s pieces are explorative narratives that mainly centre around identity, Pan-African issues and mental health. As a rising artist, she brings energy and passion to the stage as she treats each poem as living art pieces that deserve to take up space. Expect transparency and straight forward expression from beginning to end.