Friday, December 6 @ 7:00pm
Collingwood Town Hall
140 Hoddle Street
Has an Open Mic?
The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize is its fifth annual prize night presented by Melbourne Spoken Word. This year supported by Yarra Libraries at Collingwood Town Hall.
The prize is a celebration of the spoken word scene in Melbourne as a whole, the vast array of spoken word and poetry events around our city and the poets that breathe life into our scene.
Twenty-five poets, nominated by event conveners around Melbourne and Victoria, will showcase a poem on the night, and a panel of 7 judges, leaders in our spoken word community, will award one poet The Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, worth $1,000. The audience will also vote for The People’s Choice worth $200 and the most nominated poet will be awarded The Convener’s Choice worth $200.
This is the Oscar’s of Melbourne poetry so feel free to dress up, and book your tickets quickly as this event does sell out. Yarra Libraries has also generously funded a portion of free or pay as you feel tickets for the community (for those with health care cards, concession, senior or student cards).
This year’s judges are Michael Reynolds, Tariro Mavondo, Hamish Danks Brown, Amanda Anastasi, Eleanor Jackson, Quinn Eades and Fleassy Malay.
The final list of finalists for The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize are:
1. Jasmine Cenci
2. Yoram Symons
3. Maja Puseljic
4. Christine Burrows
5. John McKelvie
6. Ren Alessandra
7. Christopher James White
8. Megan J. Riedl
9. Yvette Stubbs
10. Loran Steinberg
11. Nikki Viveca
12. Josh Cake
13. Daymon Greulich
14. Ania Walwicz
15. Sean Whelan
16. James AO
17. Argyrios Dikeos
18. Panda Wong
19. Declan McDonald
20. Morgaine Van Wingerden
21. Thabani Tshuma
22. Linh Tran
23. Wahibe Moussa
24. Jeltje Fanoy
25. Andrew Rogerson
And the 5 reserve poets are:
1. Debra Ralph
2. Amy Bodossian
3. Hal Simons
4. Koraly Dimitriadis
5. Nolan Tyrrell
Accessibility: Collingwood Town Hall is a fully wheelchair accessible venue. AUSLAN interpreters can be provided on request. If you have accessibility questions or requirements, please contact us at [email protected] or on 1300 695 427.
For further information on the rules and process for The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize please see https://melbournespokenword.com/mswprize/
The Dan is Melbourne’s longest running weekly poetry venue is now in its 25th year. Every Saturday between 2pm-5pm, The Dan O’Connell Hotel becomes, The Home of Poets. The Dan is a community of poets, who support each other’s work, and endeavour to improve their poetry. Some of the poets that perform at The Dan have been writing poetry for decades, but many, are just starting their poetry journey.
The Dan is also, for people that love to see poets performing their poems. Our poetry audience can listen, and watch the open mic, with a drink and a meal in front of them, you will hear words from around the corner, and around the world. It’s free entry, and everyone is welcome on the open mic.
Give yourself the gift of a living performance, come and experience Poetry @ The Dan O’Connell. Put your name on the blackboard and be part of the open mic. Co-ordinated and MC’d by the Dan Poet’s Collective, Libby, Steve, Anne, Norman and Tim.
This venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Thabani Tshuma, winner of The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, as well as The People’s Choice Award and The Convener’s Choice Award, performs his winning poem, ‘No Strings’ at Collingwood Town Hall.
The 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize was supported by Yarra Libraries.
Thabani Tsuma is Zimbabwean born and raised, living abroad for the greater part of the last decade. His work is influenced by the myriad identity challenges of the diaspora, expatriates and immigrants, while also addressing awareness around addiction, mental health and generational trauma. He is currently in his final year of studying journalism, a 2019 Hotdesk fellowship recipient with the Wheeler centre, Featured author with Djed Press, Slamalamadingdong’s 2019 Grand Slam champion, a member of the National poetry slam’s winning team and ranked among the top 50 slam poets worldwide at IWPS 2019. Writing is the aperture through which he views the world and experiences self in relation to others.
In its 5th year, the Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word is Australia’s only national arts award that recognises the growing field of spoken word and is named after the former 2010 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence, Emily XYZ, who left a deep impression on many of today’s Queensland spoken word artists. It is open to applicants Australia-wide.
This year, the winner of The 2019 XYZ Prize is Fable Goldsmith and the highest placed QLD entry is Rae White.
Home – Fable Goldsmith
I kiss her first.I wait I hold my breath, in this moment reciprocation means everythingI do not know if I can take another breath without it.I draw breath as she kisses me back I take her in, Holding on to each breathAs If I have only ever breathedunderwater,
How light she feels,How she fills the empty spaceinside my chest,How she navigates her way into my veins,turns question to meaning, meaning to answer.I surrender.my body to hersnaked and honest, tremblingThis is the first time I am not afraid. The first time another body has become a safe space.
We find each other in the dark,as our hands reachwe find ourselves in each othernavigating new worlds under bed sheets.
She tells memy body is a poemshe will never get tired of readinga trailshe will never tire of taking She tells me homeis where we both stand.
Years pass, Every time I touch her feels like the first time, I still catch my breath from her kissesHer skin is always new
Years pass, I kiss her firstShe stallsHolds her breath,hands trembling as if holding a trigger she just can’t bring herself to pull
BangHer honesty becomes a rain of bulletsand I the only target
She tells me her heart is needy,never full
she tells meher hands are travellers,that have wandered from my touch.
She tells me her mouth is hungr