Saturday, July 29 @ 7:00pm
The Good Room
390a Lygon Street,
Has an Open Mic?
Slam rego at 6.30pm
GriffinSpeak has been curating nights of diverse voices and stories for almost a year now and it is high time they let the competitive streak out in the form of a slam.
GriffinSlam is GriffinSpeak’s annual Slam event where poets battle it out for a sweet prize (TBA) and bragging rights for the next 365 days (give or take a few).
For those who are new to slam, the rules are simple:
Nour Abouzeid is a generation Y Muslim Australian who has been frustrated with the world and has a lot to say. Having always enjoyed English and poetry, coupled with his love for hip-hop and conscious lyrics, spoken word poetry became for him the ideal artistic medium to fight misconceptions, challenge the status quo and try to assert with pride a Muslim identity. Loud and outspoken, he is a regular on the Melbourne Slam scene, and has performed at many community and youth events and fundraisers in both Melbourne and Sydney. In addition to working closely with many local artists (including Luka Lesson and Omar Musa), he has also performed along side acclaimed international performers such as Amir Sulaiman, Mark Gonzales, Liza Garza, Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye and Boonaa Mohamed. He has also had the chance to perform in open mics in the UK and the USA, including the famous Nuyorican poets’ cafe in New York City. In 2009 He was a finalist in the Melbourne Writer’s Festival Poetry Idol and in 2010 he became the Victorian State Champion in the Australian Poetry Slam and was again a state finalist in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. In 2012 Nour was selected as part of the Melbourne Slam Team that competed against New Zealand in the Trans-Atlantic Slam. In addition to performing he has run performance workshops including being part of a project headed by the national gallery of Victoria. As an MC, he has hosted a multitude of events and fundraisers including those headed by Human Appeal International and the most recent Ilm Arts Festivals in Melbourne and Kuwait City. When he’s not doing that or his day job, he enjoys photography and collecting sneakers and Lego sets.
The winners of the 2020 XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word are: Eloise Grills and Jaslyn Robertson (co-winners and collaborators), for their piece “Erotic Thriller”.
Highest Queensland Entry: Holly Robertson for “The Laundromat is a Peculiar Place for Philosophy”
Highly Commended:Sarah Temporal ‘Who Gave Birth to my Daughter’
Yasmin McQuade ‘Frida’s Eyebrows’
In its 6th year, the Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word is Australia’s only national arts award that recognises the growing field of spoken word and is named after the former 2010 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence, Emily XYZ, who left a deep impression on many of today’s Queensland spoken word artists. It is open to applicants Australia-wide.
Winners: “Erotic Thriller” – Eloise Grills and Jaslyn Robertson
Eloise Grills is an award-winning writer, comics artist, poet and critic. Her first book of poetry, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams (Subbed In) was recently shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore award. She’s currently working on her first illustrated memoir with the support of the Australia Council. www.eloisegrills.com
Jaslyn Robertson is a young composer of electronic and chamber music who writes with unusual sounds, alternate tuning systems and new forms of notation. In 2020 she has received the Monash Animated Notation Ensemble commissioning prize and a commission for Ossicle duo supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne. http://jaslyn.biz/
Highest Queensland Entry: “The Laundromat is a Peculiar Place for Philosophy” – Holly Robertson
Holly Robertson is a 19 year old poet and student from Brisbane. Writing for the last six
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.