Thursday, April 30 @ 7:00pm
House of Bricks Gallery
40 Budd Street Collingwood
Has an Open Mic?
Speak to the host and poetry jockey Santo Cazzati
House of Bricks Spoken Word happens monthly around the end of the month. It has been going since 2012 under the stewardship of House of Bricks gallery organiser Crib Millen and the MC of the poetry gig, Poetry Jockey Santo Cazzati. Santo is the only known poetry jockey in the cosmos (insert academic footnote for verification here by authority on cosmological poetry jockeys, Amanda Anastasi). A poetry jockey is like a disc jockey in a bar or night club. Santo controls the aural environment by selecting his four feature artists and ten open mic candidates in any order that he sees fit (insert acknowledgement here to Anthony O’Sullivan, from whom the idea was stolen to then be brilliantly modified by Santo). This creates a particular atmosphere, sometimes scintillating, sometimes profound, poets being listened to in pindropping silence, or being positively heckled during their performance. The emphasis is on the way poetry comes from the voice of the poet, wafts in the air, and gently caresses the listener.
Poets at HOBSW might be very performance oriented or very literary oriented, and the two seem to happily coinhabit the space. And the space is unique in the world as probably the only poetry gig with an open roll-a-door onto the world, allowing smokers to participate without causing passive smoking danger to other participants.
Sjaak de Jong
Sjaak strayed into the world of poetry about 30 years ago from the halls dungeons and cellars of rock and roll, and was founding member of the sound-poetry chorus UQ, a very strange and edgy performance group that managed to be in existence for over 20 years. He has often worked with poets striving to create a genuine hybrid of poetry and music and continues to be the producer/convenor of a number of experimental poetry compilations “Voiceprints XX” that aim to expose local practitioners to a wider audience.
Lawrence Tobius Sampson Greene
Lawrence honed his craft while living by the skin of his teeth in Cambodia, where he spoke for his supper all up and down the bars of Otres Beach. He likes words, he likes rhythm, and likes making people laugh, so he’s not at all bothered that the poem he gets the most compliments for is the dumbest one he’s ever written.
Jeltje Fanoy has been writing, performing and editing poetry since the 1970s. Her publications include the collections “Living in Aboriginal Australia”, “Catching worms” and “Poetry Live in the House”, the collaborations of poetry and music “So Be It” and “Dreaming in English”, and the compilations CDs “Poetry for Peace” and “Heart to Heart” (Reconciliation Poetry at La Mama Poetica). She has also translated works by Netherlands poet Arjen Duinker into from Dutch into English, including her translation of “De Zon en de Wereld” (The Sun and the World). Jeltje was a convenor of poetry performances at La Mama Poetica from 2004 until 2010.
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.
We Work This Shop is a place for poets and spoken word artists of all styles and levels to bring their work for feedback and workshopping in a supportive environment.
Whether you’re an experienced poet who wants to try out your latest piece on a small audience for performance feedback, or if you’ve got a piece you want to test run before trying the open mic for the first time, or something you want to edit closely, to see if it makes sense, the place is open, especially for those new to spoken word.
We start with a short writing exercise to get your writing brain moving, and then everyone gets a turn to share their piece for feedback. Bring extra copies if you can, so people can make notes and suggestions.
Entry is free but donations are encouraged to help pay for the room.
Love, loss, and loneliness all pop up in Kendra Keller’s (aka Lady Longdrop) lively and tender first collection of poems Hey Moon! Lady Longdrop demands a conversation that leads us away from an elusive state. With an active, empowered voice, she uses the moon the way many of us use it – to connect to the hidden self from, the self that is terrified of being seen. Poetry to her is a form of meditation.
In the section ‘Moon Poems’, she takes the reader out to see the moon, and in the poem, ‘Full-of-it’ lies a powerfully vulnerable question that requires sight:
Great fat moon
Why do you look at me and ask
Whether I am as fully human as you are fully stone
What would it take for many of us to articulate the pain our mothers and fathers caused us? To articulate back, to them, their state, and ours, through a question? Lady Longdrop insists that we rest before this journey – to connect with our larger selves.
What would it feel like if we took our problems to the moon, then feasted on her light as the narrator of the book does? Would we perceive love in ways suggested in ‘Love Is’?
A forgotten dream
Would we then dig deeper into our memories, and say:
Love is some clothes I threw out cos they didn’t fit anymore
Love is some papers
Dusty with nostalgia
That I had to burn
Where would we go? The ocean?
If we are to find ourselves, to find where we belong, we must find the things that truly know themselves. In her poem ‘As Though it is OK’, Lady Longdrop poetically displays the human demise when we compare ourselves to others without the knowledge of our capacity to transcend our conditions.
You hang there
As though it is ok
As though there are humans who can cope with your perfect
mirroring of yourself
Lady Longdrop consistently draws attention to the possibility of opening up
Ziimusic performs ‘Black Don’t Crack’ at the Slamalamadingdong Grand Slam in May. Ziimusic is on the 2018 Slamalamadingdong National Poetry Slam team travelling to Chicago in August.
ZIIMUSIC, is a Naarm based creative blending his artistry into a soulful experience. Originally from Zimbabwe, ZIIMUSIC began his creative career as a rapper and musician. He has had the privilege of performing in and around Naarm where his band have performed at festivals and sold out venues. 2017 saw ZIIMUSIC step into the Spoken Word scene as he was part of the Band Of Brothaz compromising of Naarms most decorated spoken word artists.