Friday, February 26 @ 7:00pm
The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne
Has an Open Mic?
Founded in 1977, the Melbourne Poets Union hosts poetry readings on the last Wednesday of the month – except for February and December which are on Fridays. They are usually at the Wheeler Centre in the city, though sometimes other venues are used. Each month there is a focus on a theme for both feature performers and open mike readers, with a rotating MC.
Over the past 16-17 years Steve Smart has performed all over the world, run workshops, gigs, festivals (RIP Overload Poetry Festival) and been sporadically published. He has released six poetry CDs, various self-published chapbooks and has a massive web presence. His hair is no longer categorised as brown, it is now officially ‘salt and pepper’. As a poet Steve has been described as ‘Melbourne’s rockstar of performance poetry’ – (Perth Poetry Club), “wildly funny to deeply moving’ (Simon Leo Brown – abc.net.au) and ‘a raw, seething, hardcore poet who makes the rest of us look spineless’ (Amanda Anastasi – melbournespokenword.com). He lives in Footscray and is the current President of Melbourne Poets Union.
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.
Featuring Rowan White performing original work and Waffle Irongirl performing a Bill Moran retrospective.
Poetryspective is a fortnightly poetry and spoken word event celebrating world poetry. Featuring two poets, one performing their own workings, the other giving a retrospective of a poet who inspires them with an open section that encourages not just the reading of original work but the workings of other poets as well. Organised and hosted by poet Elizabeth Lish Škec.
Winner of the Midsumma Festival Queer Poetry Slam, Nikki Viveca, performs ‘Asexual Love Poem’ at the Malthouse Theatre.
Queer comedienne Nikki Viveca is a prolific performer in standup, spoken word and improv. Her solo storytelling shows include The Lazy Show, about her love affair with laziness, and Asexual Healing, about her lack of interest in actual love affairs. She has been a featured performer three times at women’s spoken word night Mother Tongue, as well as appearing in many queer and alternative events such as Trans Magic, Taint and Lemon Comedy. She can be seen at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Three Dollar Bill, Completely Improvised Potter and her new solo show, The Cake Bride.
In its 4th 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.
The winner receives $1,000 and publication with Melbourne Spoken Word.
Previous winners include Quinn Eades, Benjamin Wild, and Manna Marvel.
The 2018 Selection Panel was Daisy Lavea-Timo, Benjamin Solah.
Winner: Anisa Nandaula / I hate you
Anisa Nandaula is the 2016 Queensland poetry slam champion, the runner up Australian poetry slam champion and nationally renowned poet. This published poet has performed her work at festivals around the country such as the Queensland poetry festival, Townsville Multicultural festival, Women of the world festival and African Australian film festival. Her unique and captivating exploration of identity and politics has been showcased at the Sydney Opera house, Slama Lama ding dong in Melbourne and Adelaide writers center. Her combination performance, engaging use of language and profound ideas can capture the heart of any audience. She is a published author releasing her debut collection titled Melanin Garden.
Highly Commended: Joel McKerrow / The Brave Ones
Joel McKerrow is an award winning writer, speaker, educator, community arts worker and one of Australia’s most successful internationally touring performance poets having performed for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world since 2010. Based out of Melbourne, Australia he is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’ and was the co-founder of community arts organisation, ‘The Centre for Poetics and Justice’ (2010-2013). Joel was the third ever