Friday, October 2 @ 7:00pm
Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall
54 Victoria St Carlton
Has an Open Mic?
Purchase tickets from: https://eventbrite.com.au/e/…
Melbourne Spoken Word and Voices in the Attic presents the Melbourne leg of Luka Lesson’s latest tour, launching his new spoken word project Antidote.
After the success of his first collection: the independent best-seller ‘The Future Ancients’ (2013) Luka Lesson returns with ANTIDOTE – a spoken word collection that is an ode to our words being the antidote for such poisonous times. Filled with the vulnerable and political work that Luka is known for as well as some rare hilarious moments never before witness in his repertoire, ANTIDOTE is a brand new brave anthem for change, and a soundtrack to shedding our skins in the current climate.
Supported by Simon Taylor and Wani, with more to be announced.
Luka Lesson is a spoken word and HipHop artist who has been writing rap music for nine years. Luka discovered Slam Poetry in 2008 and in 2011 won the Australian Poetry Slam final. With four years of touring throughout Australia, Asia, New Zealand and North America, 13 Writers’ Festivals, nine years of workshop experience and ten years of writing under his belt, Luka has written commissions and performed for The National Gallery of Victoria, Greece’s pioneer HipHop group Active Member, South Africa’s OneBlood Festival and China’s most celebrated living poet Xi Chuan in Beijing. In 2013, his debut book, “The Future Ancients” became an independent best-seller and a part of educational programs in selected schools from Hong Kong to Melbourne. Luka has released two full length albums: Please Resist Me (2011) and EXIT (2014) where he blurs the lines between a conscious HipHop lyricist and insightful story-teller.
This event celebrates issues 27 (the TENSE issue) and 28 (the POLITICS issue) of ‘Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry’–with poems guest-edited by Pascalle Burton & David Stavanger and Ella O’Keefe & Alan Wearne respectively. The ‘Big Rabbit Read’ will feature short readings by poets published in issues 27 & 28.
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