Friday, November 18 @ 7:00pm
Northcote VIC AU
$15 pre-booked or $20 on the door
Has an Open Mic?
The last Ruckus of the year, with special feature guests and a 5-round grand slam. Message the Ruckus Page if you want to sign up as a wildcard to compete alongside the winners of previous Ruckus slams this year. Five rounds with different challenges: regular round, free write, bad poetry, one-minute poems and then the top 3 plus audience wildcard.
Ruckus Slam is a spoken word open mic event. Using a warped slam format, it’s a competitive poetry night where blood, sweat and tears are the price of entry. Sometimes poetry is involved. If you’ve seen a slam in action you may have a general idea. But best not get your hopes up. The aim is fun, ridiculousness and stripping away the pretentiousness of poetry. Ruckus is all about giving spoken word back to the people that deserve it: university students with no income and STI’s. What makes Ruckus extra special is its feature guests. Local bands, circus, cabaret, burlesque, comedy, hip hop and more take centre stage, mixing up genres to create a wild night of dancing, words and explosions. Or at least, that’s the aim. We provide the stage, but it’s the audience that gets Ruckus. See what I did there? Words…
POSTY Poetry & Spoken Word Special Delivery is a new fortnightly open mic event hosted by Hamish Danks Brown a.k.a. Danksta Downunder. All welcome to distribute and sort their poetry on stage and to deliver it in any language. The Post is well located on the corner of Brighton Road and Inkerman Street. If you’re coming from North of the Yarra catch the number 3 or 67 trams from Swanston Street and get out at Stop 34 right outside the pub. It’s a very warm and welcoming venue with good food and drinks.
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