Friday, May 8 @ 7:30pm
Melbourne Physical & Natural Studio
Fitzroy VIC AU
Has an Open Mic?
Mother Tongue is a monthly intimate and gentle evening of Passionate, Powerful, Vulnerable and Honest womens spoken word. From rap to storytelling, poetry to monologues this night embodies every genre of “Spoken Word” and attempts to represent every aspect of “woman” from student to housewife, transgender to straight CIS, nice girl to erotic demoness and everything in between. It is a mixed gender audience with a cosy, living room atmosphere, that gives a space for 8 open mic slots and two feature artist to inspire and be inspired, to share in a safe place, to push boundaries and to have boundaries pushed…. and to top it all off there is vegan treats and chai too.
Zainab Zahra Syed
Zainab Zahra Syed is a Pakistani activist and spoken word poet. She graduated from Brown University in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. Zainab won the College Unions Poetry Slam at Brown University in 2012 and has performed at venues in the US, Pakistan and Australia and will be going on a European Tour in June. She has worked as a poetry workshop facilitator at the women’s prisons in Rhode Island and at schools in Lahore and Islamabad teaching storytelling as healing. Her scholarship and poetry focuses on the Middle East and South Asia, with specific attention paid to humanized politics. Her first full length manuscript weaves the history of the Pakistani Partition with personal narrative in an attempt to reconcile memory and the act of remembering.
Lana Woolf is a writer, spoken word artist, radio producer and activist among many other things. She has won the annual Percy Shelly Poetry Slam two years running (2012/2013), has placed in both storytelling and performance poetry at the Sydney Rd Writers Festival (2013), has featured at Keep Left (2012), JOY 94.9 International Lesbian Day Show (2012 & 2014), House of Bricks (2013), Laughs for Diversity (2014), The annual Percy Shelly Poetry Slam (2014) JOY 94.9, International Women’s Day Event (2014) University of Melbourne, Judy Punch magazine launch (2014), Out In The Open (2014). Lana’s collective work is self reflective and often examines the experiences of racism, sexism and homophobia that exist in the world in which we live.
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.