10 June 2015

Day 11: Poetry off the Page

Yesterday was all about poetry in its written form. Day 11 is about the spoken word and what happens when poetry comes off the page. Poetry off the page is a celebration of language through performance. It’s the play of meaning between words when they are paired together, enhanced and dramatised by the use of voice and gesture. With roots in Ancient Greece, the 1960s Beatniks of North America, and the African American Civil rights movement, the spoken word has a powerful history and compelling present.

In today’s post we’ll be sharing spoken word events to participate in around Australia. We’ll also share competition opportunities and poetry resources.

But before we get to that, it’s Adelaide and Sydney’s turn to celebrate the launch of Voiceworks issue #100! Hop down to Ancient World and 107 Projects respectively from 6pm tonight to join in the festivities.

Events and Opportunities

At the start of this month, Bill Moran (also known as Good Ghost Bill) chatted with Benjamin Solah about his feelings on coming back to Australia. Well, he’s here now, and he’s presenting a spoken word workshop as part of Wollongong’s local NYWM program. An award winning spoken word poet from Austin, Texas, Moran will be sharing his experiences and advice to the interested poet. Refer to the Wollongong program for the details.

Another Wollongong event, Enough Said Poetry Slam is a monthly poetry reading dressed up as a competition. All poets are welcome to enter and get up on stage to speak their mind. Scoring is by members of the audience – but really, it’s about the poetry not the prizes. Head down to Anchors Aweigh on June 25 to watch or perform.

The melbournespokeword.com website is the perfect place to check out spoken word events for Victoria – have a look to see if there’s anything that pleases you. Some upcoming highlights include Mother Tongue featuring Bigoa Chuol and Jules Sutherland, a night of spoken word from women in all their soft and powerful forms on June 13. There is also a Showcase of new and familiar spoken word poets at Conduit Arts, a gallery-cum-performance space on Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Pop down on June 12 to listen in.

You can also watch Candy Royalle deliver a performance poetry workshop at the NSW Writers’ Centre with community housing residents. Her humour and encouragement renders those vulnerable moments the most powerful.

For those of you up north, there is a number of poetry prizes are being awarded as part of the upcoming Queensland Poetry Festival, including The Val Vallis Award for an unpublished poem, The Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript, The XYZ Award for innovation in spoken work and The Philip Bacon Ekphrasis AwardEntries close 5pm, July 15, so get on it now.

To finish up Day 11, or for something to do the next time you don’t like what’s in the newspaper, grab the closest newspaper or magazine and black out the words to create a poem. Instagram it with #NYWM15.