Meeting the Regulars: La Mama Poetica

1418194_10151999769819329_176182167_nLa Mama Poetica is held on a Monday night at 7.30 for an 8pm start, approximately four times a year. It is an evening of some of the best spoken word and poetry to be found in Melbourne. Each Poetica event features four diverse poets – some established, others emerging.

As convenor, I give much consideration to the combination of poets I choose. I aim to keep a gender balance (usually two male and two female poets), and to present a range of styles and personalities. While most Poetica features have well and truly ‘earned their stripes’ on the Melbourne poetry scene, the gig will always be the place to come and hear the best of the new poets.

When I visit other poetry gigs looking for future Poetica features, I try to gauge which performers poetry audiences most want to hear more from. At the same time, I am aware of the responsibility I have in choosing quality poetry, which is the La Mama Poetica tradition so well maintained by past convenors such as Lauren Lee Williams, Jeltje, Anna Fern, Andy Jackson and Matt Hetherington. When in doubt, I simply choose the poet/s that I last heard read that gave me goosebumps!

Poetica is promoted through Facebook and additionally in the La Mama Theatre quarterly program booklet. Our usual venue is the heritage-listed La Mama Courthouse Theatre, an icon of the performing arts in Melbourne. It is a beautiful intimate space for poets to perform in and with acoustics this good, we have no need for a microphone. What is also wonderful about this venue is that each month a different play is showing, so we never know what kind of set we are going to get to perform in!

The next La Mama Poetica will be held on Monday, 18th November at 7.30pm @ the La Mama Courthouse Theatre, 349 Drummond St Carlton and will feature Amy Bodossian, Tim Hamilton, Jillian Pattinson and Joel McKerrow. There is a door prize, bar and box office at the theatre. Tickets are $12/$8 and can be prebooked or purchased at the door. To keep updated on all things La Mama, join the La Mama Poetica group on Facebook or visit the theatre’s website.

Amanda Anastasi