Saturday, July 25 @ 7:30pm
Ground NAB Building 800
Has an Open Mic?
Book tickets at http://www.trybooking.com/IEUK
Melbourne Spoken Word is proud to host 2014 Australian Poetry Slam Champion Zohab Zee Khan, at Harbour Kitchen in Docklands, MC’d by Joel McKerrow and performing alongside local Melbourne poets, Brendan Reed Dennis (Victorian Finalist of the Australian Poetry Slam), Ebony MonCrief, Abdul Hammoud, Soreti Kadir and the winner of the Slamalamadingdong June Back2Basics slam.
Zohab Zee Khan
Zohab Khan is the current Australian Poetry Slam Champion, didgeridoo player, harmonica beat-boxer and a performance artist. Zohab has toured Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Europe to sell-out crowds. Zohab was a finalist in the 2014 International Poetry Slam in Madrid and the Spanish Poetry Slam State Finals. Zohab published his first book, ‘I Write’ this year, a collection of poetry that spans half a decade of championship winning poems and toured four major cities in China as part of the Bookworm Literary Festival. This year, he has also made appearances at various writer’s festivals in Auckland, Sydney, Byron, Bellingen and Ubud. All Zohab’s performances dates and appearances are listed on his website, www.zohabzee.com
Being of Oromo heritage but having spent most of her life living in Melbourne, Soreti is committed to cultivating the power of the African diaspora through her work as one of the Co-Founders and the Directing Manager of In Our Own Words; an NGO focused on self-awareness, de-colonial thinking and community empowerment. Soreti’s expression as a spoken word artist and an emerging writer encompasses her passion for critical thinking, the strengthening of the African diaspora and community engagement.
Joel McKerrow is a writer, speaker, educator, community arts worker and one of Australia’s most successful internationally touring performance poets. He is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’ and was the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships.
Ebony MonCrief, raised in Birmingham, Alabama, is a writer, performance poet, inspirational speaker and producer of the open mic Voices in the Attic. Through words, she explores art, music, humanity, the universe and most importantly self. Her vibrant storytelling style engages, entertains and provides audiences with a honest look at the person behind the words.
Brendan Reed Dennis
Brendan Reed Dennis has been turning heads and blowing minds in Melbourne since his arrival in January 2014. From dingy Melbourne bars to the Sydney opera house, Brendan has left audiences in a poetry induced state of existential crisis. As one of the younger writers in the Melbourne poetry scene he prefers the term ‘prodigy’ to ‘young poet. He is the the man with the golden tongue and it has earned him the title of Victorian State Poetry Champion of 2014. Watch out, Steve Smart says he’s a charming bastard!
Abdul Hammoud is a spoken word artist based in Melbourne by way of Lebanon, a country that he is still captivates by and connects to. Abdul has performed alongside poetic giants like Luka Lesson, Ken Arkind, Anis Mojgani, Sarah Kay, Taylor Mali and Shihan. He has also managed to teach numerous writing classes and workshops for schools and various organizations. His art has taken him as close as New Zealand and as far as the United States, as well as to his beloved home country. In 2013, he became founder of The Dirty Thirty online writing platform, an ever-growing group for writers to challenge themselves every April. He is now also editor and compiler of The Dirty Thirty Anthology, a collection of poetry from the page he coordinates. Most of his work revolves around current issues including the constant state of war in the Middle East, cultural division, as well as the portrayal of masculinity. He is also a full time student and an avid purveyor of starting books but not finishing them.
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.
Miss Yankey performs ‘The Rose That Never Grew’ at Slamalamadingdong in March, 2019.
Miss Yankey is a British/Ghanaian Spoken Word artist; Founder of Poetry Prescribed; FLO Poet; Co-host and Resident Poet at The Chocolate Poetry Club; Open Mic Host at Mind Over Matter; and milli-tasking mother of twins. A passionate advocate of mental health and domestic violence awareness, she often writes poetry on these topics in a bid to takle the stigma attached to them.