Monday, July 25 @ 6:30pm
The Toff in Town
Level 2, 252 Swanston Street
Has an Open Mic?
Book tickets at http://wheelercentre.com/events/howl/…
Presented by The Wheeler Centre.
Hallucinatory, chaotic and confronting, Allen Ginsberg’s 1955 poem Howl sits with On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs at the very centre of the Beat literary canon.
With its wild, visceral depictions of sex, drugs and madness, Ginsberg’s poem is perhaps as famous for the obscenity trial that followed its publication as for its disturbing and much-parodied opening lines. Like the other Beat writers, Ginsberg was influenced by jazz music and aimed to capture in his writing something of the rhythms, spontaneity and subversive undercurrents inherent in jazz traditions.
At two very special performances at the Toff, Maxine Beneba Clarke will read Howl to modern music by jazz composer Darrin Archer. Archer’s composition, called Drunken Taxicabs of Absolute Reality: Howl to Music, features a seven-piece jazz band and aims to create a sonic landscape that accompanies and interacts with Ginsberg’s seminal poem.
Ginsberg himself described Howl as a ‘tragic custard-pie of wild phrasing’. Join Archer and Beneba Clarke as they bring that wild phrasing to life, more than 60 years after Ginsberg’s first reading.
Maxine Beneba Clarke
Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Her latest poetry collection is Nothing Here Needs Fixing (Picaro Press, 2013). Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of The Year, the Indie Award for best debut fiction, and was shortlisted for The Stella Prize. Poetry his her first, and true love.
Slama acknowledges that our home is in Naarm, on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge that for this land, and for all Australian land sovereignty was never ceded, no treaty was signed and it always was and always will be Aboriginal land. ——————————————————————————————————————————-
Slamalamadingdong is still buzzing from their April House Party Slam and incredibly excited for this month!
May’s Slam will be with the same structure and flair of an online slam, but with an international feature close to Slama Fama’s heart and more poetic stories shared! They will be joined by the inspiring and energetic Arielle Cottingham.
Slama believes that this time it is more important than ever for art and stories to exist and be shared. They will be dedicated to providing a space to do so, even from the safe distances of their homes.
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.