Thursday, December 15 @ 7:00pm
239 Lonsdale Street Chinatown
Has an Open Mic?
Outside the Box Press is proud to present ‘Wide Open,’ the new book from critically acclaimed Cabaret star and performance poet Amy Bodossian. This poignant, moving, and erotic poetry collection, illustrated by the author, is about to be unleashed onto Australian readers, after much anticipation from fans of one of Australia’s most unique, eccentric, and captivating spoken word artists.
Amy has been nominated for a Green Room Award, been on ABCs Spicks and Specks and Please Like Me, performed sell out shows to audiences across Australia, and headlined most of Melbourne’s top spoken word events. Now she is preparing to launch her beautiful and long-awaited new book, ‘Wide Open’, just in time for Christmas!
Launched by Alicia Sometimes, with special performances by top Melbourne poets, Koraly Dimitriadis, Anthony O’Sullivan, Maurice Mcnamara, Emilie Collyer, Yvette Stubbs, and a special comedic performance by Kimberly Twiner
Hosted by Jo Zealand. And of course, Miss Bodossian will be performing a very special set from the book.
“From high speed sex on the highway to domestic bliss. From kissing the dizzying heights of new love to skinning her knees on the concrete of rejection. From fucking amongst her childhood toys to the agony of letting go on the beach at midnight, Amy plunges into the treacherous yet expansive oceans of romantic love with a heart that will not harden. A heart that will always be ‘Wide Open.'”
“Vulnerable, honest, primal, cosmic, elemental and ultimately unforgettable. Amy reminds you of all the hurt and wonder of being alive.”
– Bronwyn Lovell, Winner of the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize
“This collection holds no punches. It is an invigorating, life-affirming book that celebrates the fierce and the hopeless in all of us.”
– Emilie Collyer, Award winning playwright and author
“Bodossian’s trippy, dippy poetry is a constantly surprising delight. She seamlessly segues into a smokey torch singer, straddling the lines between satire and serious art, sweetness and obscenity, sexiness and gawkiness.”
– The Advertiser
“There isn’t a pigeonhole in existence, no matter how well labelled, that could possibly hold Amy Bodossian. No warning, no apologies.”
– FINGER MAGAZINE
Come buy a copy for your partner, your mum, your unrequited love. Get one to read as you down champagne and cry over your Christmas Turkey! Tis the season!
The Dan is Melbourne’s longest running weekly poetry venue is now in its 24th year. Every Saturday between 2pm-5pm, The Dan O’Connell Hotel becomes, The Home of Poets. The Dan is a community of poets, who support each other’s work, and endeavour to improve their poetry. Some of the poets that perform at The Dan have been writing poetry for decades, but many, are just starting their poetry journey.
The Dan is also, for people that love to see poets performing their poems. Our poetry audience can listen, and watch the open mic, with a drink and a meal in front of them, you will hear words from around the corner, and around the world. It’s free entry, and everyone is welcome on the open mic.
Give yourself the gift of a living performance, come and experience Poetry @ The Dan O’Connell. Put your name on the blackboard and be part of the open mic. Co-ordinated and MC’d by the Dan Poet’s Collective, Libby, Steve, Anne, Norman and Tim.
You are part of the team that Slamalamadingdong is sending to US to compete in the National Poetry Slam. What excites you the most about competing in Chicago?
I’m immensely proud of Slama and of the whole Melbourne poetry scene, so I’m excited to go and represent everyone at such a huge event. I’d like to be a kind of ambassador for the amazing art being created in Melbourne and Australia. I’m keen to watch, connect with, and learn from lots of other amazing artists. I think we might also be able to push the boundaries of what American audiences think of as ‘Slam Poetry’ by bringing our own styles, experiences, and contexts into our work and our performances.
Your accent is decidedly English. What part of the UK are you from, and what brought you to Australia and Melbourne in particular?
I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, but grew up down south in Surrey. The rest of my family are from in and around Manchester, so that was an influence too. I’ve also lived in Leeds, South London and North London. So, maybe I’ve got more of an ‘undecidedly’ English accent. I wonder whether those varied influences were part of what got me interested in accents, dialects, and language generally.
My partner and I met in the UK but her mum is Australian and her family emigrated to live in Geelong some years ago. That gave us the chance to try living in another country and we fell in love with Melbourne. We said we’d give it two years and see how we settled in. That was five and a half years ago. So, it looks like it’s going okay.
Yes, I did hear that you would travel from Geelong to attend poetry events. What made getting up in front of that mic worth the small journey each time?
The poetry and spoken word scene is my community, so it was well worth the journey just to be among those people and hear their art and their stories. I think it was important for my mental health to keep performing regularly too. There is some
The ‘aperture’ of an ‘OCDiva’s’ ’appetite’ by Hamish Danks Brown
“Beauty beheld in solitude is even more lethal.” Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
In mid-December 2016, Amy Bodossian launched her debut collection wide open in the standing room confines of Ferdydurke, a venue located above Tattersalls Lane in the CBD.
It’s a slim ninety-page volume containing two dozen poems, plus illustrations by an Adelaide-born cabaret performer who usurps any stage with such panache escalating to frenzy that I’ve christened her ‘OCDiva’!
The poems hone in on personal matters: the author’s body, mind and soul; the whenever, wherever, with whoever that all comes with outbreaks of love and influxes of sex. This book is not for the prurient and prudish among us. It is intended for a ‘wide open’ readership in print and for a like-minded audience with similar gaping predilections shown when the ‘OCDiva’ herself is on stage.
The overriding theme of this book is that adults are overgrown kids dealing with the alternative facts and fantasies of love lives and that none of us are getting any younger though we can tweak time and play depending on whose place we’re at, through the detouring routes of our boudoir behaviour patterns.
This collection goes full-cycle from a juvenile tryst in ‘Remember that Sunday Afternoon’, to a reflective ‘Reprise’ via a poetic cycle of remembered episodes and personal encounters such as ‘First Date’, ‘Coat Hanger Eyes’, ‘Summer Love’, ‘Phone Sex’ and ‘Over’:
I’m not into dominating / but I do like masturbating / over the thought of you telling me things / you’d never tell anyone else, / how you say you’d like to be punished / which I’m not really into, but I do get wet / over your wounded, he