Sunday, September 4 @ 7:30pm
The Workers Club
51 Brunswick St Fitzroy
$20/17 + BF
Has an Open Mic?
Ruckus Slam and Melbourne Spoken Word are proud to bring you UK poet, Anthony Anxagorou Live in Melbourne, here for the Melbourne Writers Festival. He will perform for one night only at The Worker’s Club in Fitzroy as well as host a workshop.
He will be joined by special guest poets Rik The Most, Rowan White And Tariro, as well as in the style of Ruckus’ celebrating of other art forms, award-winning comedian Laura Davis, and hip-hop artist MC Emerald. Plus more poetic guests.
Melbourne Spoken Word will also be hosting a special workshop on the Friday afternoon before the show.
Anthony Anaxagorou is an award winning poet, prose writer, performer and educator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, a spoken word EP and written for theatre. His poetry has appeared on various BBC programs over the last decade and in 2013 his poem Dialectics was interpreted and performed by Cirque du Soleil. His poetry and fiction writing won Groucho Maverick award in 2015. In 2016 Anaxagorou is launching his new book Heterogeneous. The definitive anthology of his poetry, Heterogeneous is an extensive and revised selection taken from several previous volumes. With this latest work Anaxagorou offers readers an insight into his poetry career with work spanning from 2009 to 2016. These seven instructive years highlight the making of a poet who has now subsequently achieved international acclaim as a thinker, writer, polemicist and activist.
Michael Farrell, Frankie Hanman Siegersma, Antonia Pont, Kent MacCarter, Gemma Mahadeo, Claire Gaskin, Carl Walsh, Zoe Kingsley and Natalie Briggs
This event celebrates the launch of the 24th issue of ‘Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry’–the LGBTQIA+ issue–with poems guest-edited by Michael Farrell. The ‘Big Rabbit Read’ will feature short readings by poets published in issue 24 as well as by poets published in previous issues of the journal.
FREE / ALL AGES
(Part of the Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival 2018 #MSWPF18. For full program of this exciting 2 week festival, go to https://mswpf.com.au)
Eleanor Jackson and her infant daughter graciously hosted me for this interview. Over tea and cake, we had a wide-ranging conversation about spoken word and its revolutionary potential.
One of the things I love about poetry is that it is deeply transgressive, precisely because of its anti-capitalist tilt. We live in a system that assigns a utility to every person and their time. To do something that is a ‘waste of time’ and makes no money — it is a revolutionary act.
I was listening to your performance of “Shave and a Haircut” at Slamalamadingdong. I was struck by the musicality, how it evoked the sounds and rhythms of jazz. I wanted to ask about musical influences. Is that a conscious thing for you?
Yes, spoken word and poetry is about musical language. There is so much resonance between the way that musicians and poets use language: for its rhythm, tonality and song. My earliest musical loves were discovered scrounging through my dad’s vinyl collection of 70s classics, including all of Joni Mitchell’s work. She is an incredible lyricist, a beautiful painter and writer, a phenomenally talented musician. Her sense of story and lyric form is just exquisite. I loved the standard folk troubadours like Bob Dylan or Elton John. The 70’s rock-folk classics almost seem daggy in their sincerity, but I think they are still really beautiful. They continue to influence me at some level, although I don’t use end rhymes the way that musicians seek to use them in their songs.
The other striking feature of your work is pacing, your modulation of both pace and emotion.
If there’s one thing I miss in Australian spoken word, it is space and silence. Pace is about finding the beauty that happens in the pause. The pause allows for contemplation and absorption, allows for the time and space to sit with a thought, to then decide if the words truly resonate. Poet and spoken word artist Anthony O’Sullivan said he thought m
Your most recent collection, ‘The Courage Season,’ opens with ‘Portrait of a teenage boy wandering the CBD, Melbourne.’ In it, you are observing a young man navigating the city and all of the possibilities. There is a sense that this may also the younger Peter. What were you like as a young person and how did your journey in poetry begin?
The main character portrayed in ‘Portrait of a teenage boy wandering the CBD, Melbourne’ is partly autobiographical, as I worked and wandered (during lunchbreaks) around the Parliament end of Bourke Street for 30 years. I remain a habitué of Pellegrini’s, The Paperback, and the Hill of Content bookshop. The poem is about restlessness, choices and searching for nourishment, stimuli and connections within and also beyond one’s stomping ground/hometown.
I was an extremely unhappy teenager who loved books, the map of the world and the idea of going on the road as soon as I could manage. I wrote my first poem on the road at the age of 28, still an unhappy young, questing man.
You have written many ‘portrait’ poems. ‘Portrait of Frida Kahlo’ is written in first-person, while ‘Portrait of David Bowie’ is in third. How do you approach inhabiting the world or character of someone else, and is a certain level of commonality between yourself and the subject needed in order to take on that first-person voice?
My portrait poems come out of empathy and research. Given my own medical history, major surgery and health crises, I can relate to the sense of body violation and salvation Frida Kahlo faced. In regard to David Bowie, his investigation into the multiplicity of identities one could adopt and discard is an ongoing investigation of mine, as I feel I am multiple selves within any 24-hour period. I’m always imagining other lives – the lives of total strangers and passers-by.
Your short poem ‘Self Doubt’ is very much about procrastination. How do you avoid the rut o