11 August 2021

Meet the young writers of Toolkits: Performance Poetry 2021

We are so excited to begin our first ever Toolkits: Performance Poetry program with 8 talented young poets from across Australia. During this 12-week intensive, these artists will  join poet and artist Manisha Anjali, to explore the development and performance of new poetic work.

Manisha will lead the program’s fortnightly online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship during the alternating weeks, and support these young writers with individualised feedback.

For more information on our Toolkits and Toolkits: Live program (which you can participate in right now!) visit our website.

But for now, say hello to the Performance Poetry class of 2021!

Haley Zilberberg

Haley is a writer and social worker from Miami, Florida living in Townsville, Queensland. She works as a Program Officer for the Young Leaders Program at Youth Disability Advocacy Service and freelances as a writer and marketer.

Gloria Demillo

Gloria Demillo (they/them) is a poet, researcher and multidisciplinary creative. They have worked closely with Word Travels for Australian Poetry Slam, Bankstown Poetry Slam, Red Room Poetry, CuriousWorks, and Radio Skid Row. They are the host of Titas and Tea, a podcast for Filipinx-Australian diaspora. The podcast features Philippine artists and creators, and the show explores topics like politics, history, racism, relationships, and community building.

Priya Kahlon

Priya Kahlon is a poet and performer currently living in Boorloo / Perth, Australia. She writes to better understand the world and our place in it. Her recent work has been featured in the anthologies Twice Not Shy (Night Parrot Press) and To Hold The Clouds (Centre for Stories).

Josie Alexandra

Josie is an emerging trans-disciplinary artist, a settler of mixed european heritage, currently living & working in Naarm. Josie’s work & collaborations centre on shifting ways of relating in an effort to challenge the topographies of power to emphasize non dualistic dynamics. Works celebrate non-binary consciousness and become markers of creating along the neuro-divergent lines of their praxis, a journey of continuously pushing back at the force of binary and hierarchical relating; a reality of being – socialised and living – in the Kyriarchy of so-called ‘Australia’. Within this experiential realm, poetic lines dance across frames, whilst self-knowings look inward before venturing out again. Graduating with Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2019, Josie’s expansive artistic experimentations include collective work as artist duo Eugene_Inc, a collaboration with George Goodnow. In 2020 Josie releases include a poetry book ‘imprints of witness’ and ‘TRANSIT AEAEA’ an EP of electronic-jazzysynth spoken-word soundscapes, (co-produced with Douglas McDowell). Forthcoming coming work includes ‘family portrait’ a photographic series celebrating chosen artistic and queer families (co-produced with Delali Zevon-Aniakwah & George Goodnow) In 2021 Josie’s work celebrates the power of sensitivity within neuro-emergent folk, formulating a strong sense of belonging and importance in society.

Christopher Phung

Chris is a second-generation Vietnamese-Australian deep listener, youth advocate and emerging artist based on the Western suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne.His creative practice is an open love letter for us to come together to heal the wounds of social injustice and inequity. Beginning with looking deeply within ourselves and using the energy of compassion, understanding, and love in action.

Lara Fielding

Lara Fielding is a student of the dream state, writer and artist. They write from unceded Wurundjeri Country. They are passionate about performance, queer histories and new media ritual.

Wen-Juenn Lee

Wen-Juenn is a poet and editor who lives on unceded Wurundjeri land. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Meanjin, Cordite, Antithesis, Landfall, Southerly, Scum Mag, and Going Down Swinging.

Dasha Tan

Dasha is an experimental theatre/dance theatre maker based on Kulin Country whilst navigating between historical narratives/languages/ethnicities/religions of West/Central/South Asia and Eastern Europe. They also work between long-form journalism, activism & organising (prison abolition and digital rights) and farming. Their dance theatre practice is informed by cultural rituals (and deeply informed by work taking place on stolen land), surreal comedy, avant-garde cabaret, punk and queer spirit.

On a parallel track, they experiment with sound where they formally study Armenian music (have also studied Bengali classical and Sevdah) and beginning to work with non-conventional singing like split tone singing, pitchless singing, distortion, extended vocalisation, throat-singing and techniques from metal music. They are also into noise music, field recordings, electronic RnB, West/Central/South Asian folk-pop, Japanese psychedelic, rap and lyrical poetry.

They were an APHIDS Supermassive Artist in 2020 and recently devised and performed in a sold-out season of Odd Hours at Abbotsford Convent. They are passionate about soccer tactics analysis (favourite teams are Maltildas, Iran/Bosnia national teams and Liverpool), food journalism//food origins//jam-making, hiking, speculative fiction, cats and cursed Twitter political/historical takes on the Middle East//Eastern Europe.