Words by Benjamin Solah

On Saturday night, teaming up with Conduit Arts Initiative, Melbourne Spoken Word put on our first poetry gig as an organisation and website, presenting six poets in a lovely art space on Brunswick Street to an intimate crowd. I performed alongside a bit of an ‘all-star’ lineup of Melbourne poets: Kerry Loughrey, Santo Cazzati, Randall Stephens, Amanda Anastasi and Steve Smart, who all presented unique performances, showcasing the diverse nature of the scene, and utilising the space. It was refreshing to be in a space with no microphone and people were able to use their voice in interesting ways, to pin-drop silence.

Photos by Mandy Kitchener

Photos by Mandy Kitchener

Conduit Arts Initiative have a very under-rated space on Brunswick Street. It is dedicated for performance and so everyone there was there to listen to poetry. And the acoustics of the room meant I could use my voice how I intend to. It was a very liberating experience as a poet to perform there. Randall Stephens also used the space very well, even stepping out onto the street at one point and broached that unconscious divide between ‘stage’ and audience.

Photos by Mandy Kitchener

Photos by Mandy Kitchener

This was the first time we put on an event as a website. I’ve done a few myself, but there will be more now. You don’t want to miss the next one.

Benjamin Solah