Friday, March 27 @ 7:00pm
Has an Open Mic?
To participate in the open mic, you need to:
- sign up and download Discord (it's free)
- join our Discord channel: https://discord.gg/uzBD8M
- enter your name to sign up in the channel #open-mic-sign-up
- We want to keep this in the family at least for this one at least so please leave a little bio and a social media link or two to verify you're from Melbourne or Victoria
- When the open mic starts, you can hang out in the stream watching and when it's your turn, we'll video call you and bring you online where you can share.
- Please make sure your mic and video works and is clear, test it with a friend before hand. Make sure your internet connection is stable. If you can connect to the internet over ethernet/wired connection rather than wifi, that'd be best.
- Please keep it to one poem and under 5 minutes so we can have as many people share as possible.
Melbourne Spoken Word wants to help the spoken word and poetry community in Melbourne and Victoria during these times of self-isolation.
As events and open mics can’t be held IRL at the moment, we’d love to host an open mic to allow people to share their work online, as well as continue to share and support other initiatives from the spoken word community.
We’ll be hosting this free open mic online on Twitch.tv on Friday night, where people can either share a poem or tune in to watch. You can support MSW hosting these initiatives by donating via the stream, if you’re able to.
Tune and watch via our Twitch channel: twitch.tv/melbspokenword and participate in the audience by typing in emojis and the chat. We’ll have fun ways for the audience to participate.
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.