Friday, February 23 @ 7:30pm
61 Geelong Road,
Has an Open Mic?
Richy Bennett invites you to celebrate the launch of his new poetry book “100 Dawns: A divine entwine of Mother Nature and human nature.”
Inspired by the beauty of Mother Nature and human nature, pioneering psychologist, author and poet Richy Bennett completed one hundred consecutive days of dawn meditation and sunrise surfs to fundraise for mental health services. Arising elegantly from Richy’s devotion, 100 Dawns is an uplifting collection of vision and verse illuminating intuitive wisdom and a graceful path to…
Evolve your divine connection with Mother Nature and your own true nature
Enlighten your journey of self mastery and soul mastery
Richy is kindly donating $5 from each book sale at the launch to Ocean Mind – a local not for profit organisation providing surfing activities and support for young people aged 8-18 who may be at risk or experiencing challenges with mental health, social isolation or disability.
Wheelchair Accessible / All Ages
Richy Bennett is an author, poet and performance psychologist from Jan Juc. His storytelling and poetry is inspired by the beauty of nature and intimacy with the world around and our world within. Richy has performed in local poetry and spoken word gigs on the Surf Coast and won the 2017 Big Word of Mouth Grand Slam in Geelong.
Pay-as-you-feel restaurant, Lentil As Anything, located in the old nuns dining hall at the Abbotsford Convent, is hosting a monthly open mic poetry night based on a changing theme. An inclusive space for seasoned and amateur poets alike. Sign up on the blackboard from 5.30pm, the event begins at 6pm with 5 minute slots during dinner service.
I’m sitting down for an interview with Waffle IronGirl, me on one end of old faithful (Facebook Messenger), her on the other. I’ve – somewhat unwisely – started off proceedings with a list of ‘suggested’ questions from my partner Lexi, all of them uniquely bizarre. For instance:
“How adaptable is the waffle iron as a printing technology?”
Waffle IronGirl shoots this one down:
Waffle Iron isn’t a printing technology.
It’s very adaptable personal weaponry though.
Things are off to a cracking start.
We’re here to talk about performing in Singapore (she was recently a support act in the Singapore poetry slam) and chapbooks (she’s running a workshop on chapbooks for the Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival). But I can’t resist. Where does the name “Waffle IronGirl” come from? ” I once wrote a flash fiction story about a vigilante called Waffle IronGirl,” she explains. “She used a waffle iron to dispatch with those who would violate her boundaries or the boundaries of those she cared about. When I started performing I needed a stage name, and it seemed like she could impart a courage and frankness that I felt I was lacking personally.”
I could pause here to note that Waffle IronGirl is one of the most original performers I’ve seen, and when she featured for us at the Dan, I felt like the top of my head had been taken off and I had a whole range of new weird and wonderful ideas poured in. Instead, I ask about the Singapore slam; what differences between Singaporean spoken word and Australian spoken word did she notice? “What struck me wasn’t so much the difference in style”, she says, “although that was certainly there. From a style perspective, there was certainly a more natural use of multiple languages and accents and dialects within the same
What does your name mean?
Thabani means “be happy”.
What makes you happy?
Connecting with people. I enjoy consuming art in all its forms. Art is one of the most connective things in which we can participate.
What made you leave Zimbabwe and come to Melbourne? Is Melbourne home now or is there more to your journey?
I left to study in the US and South Africa and finally Melbourne because I have family here. I just thought it would be beaches and people in swimsuits all day but had a rude awakening!
There is so much more to the journey. The project I’m working on now is about the sense of identity displacement. Even in Zimbabwe, I was not culturally accepted because I went to a lot of “white” schools. I’m still searching for a sense of belonging.
Do you know what this place looks like?
No, that’s why it’s so hard to find. But it’s not about the finding, it’s about the journey towards finding. In fact, I’m content to continuously search and not find it because it’s in the search that the most meaningful interactions are to be found.
You’re a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. What that does mean to you?
It is a great opportunity. Connecting to other writers and becoming a part of the literary world – that is the most valuable aspect. The biggest growth for me is the discipline – working on one full body of work thematically linked, where the content needs coherent narrative. I’m usually very sporadic and volatile in writing, so it’s been an interesting challenge to get into the frame of mind where I’m still authentically expressing myself but it’s a controlled expressing. Not writing to the feeling, but bringing the feeling and writing to it.
You’re part of the Slamalamadingong National Poetry Slam Team. How do you feel and what are you expecting at the event?
A lot of poetry! It’s great to see people workin