Aside from the poetry, my last post was pretty grim but things are looking better now. I’ve settled into uni a little too well perhaps. I’m flat out with assignments, fitting it all in amongst activism and trying to do my own writing.
Some things: -
The Marxism 2012 conference over the weekend was the kind of adrenaline shot I needed. Malalai Joya was simply inspiring, so brave and hopeful in the face of such terror from the US Occupation and the war lords. With over 900 people attending the conference, it is clearly the largest gathering of left-wing people in Australia and is proving that with each year. There are still those on the Left that have a hostility to Socialist Alternative or the idea of an organisation with a set of politics, but the conference proves that the organisation is able to engage with debates and any left-winger in Australia needs to seriously think about coming along next year.
I’ve given up my regular spot writing for Write Anything. I had to ditch a commitment to fit everything in. But it’s a great site and anyone new to writing should be reading it. But then Melbourne Spoken Word seems to have taken its place, and more so. I’m doing lots with the website and hopefully more soon.
One realisation I’ve had is that I’m writing a lot of poetry, spoken word, and non-fiction, with gives me the impression that I’m doing a lot of writing (and I am), but fiction and prose has kind of waned as of late. I miss. I want to write more of it.
And this blog has suffered as well with my change of routine. I hope I can find the time to check in more soon.
Last Tuesday I had the exciting opportunity to co-host the Percy Shelley Poetry Slam alongside Santo Cazzati and Dexter’s in Clifton Hill. As part of that, I performed the above poem inspired by free speech activist, Mario Savio.
The night was amazing, full of left-wing political poetry in front of a packed and excited audience. We also launched a dual EP, Duel Power with tracks by both me and Santo Cazzati. Both the slam and the CD were part of a fundraiser for the Marxism 2012 conference taking place this Easter, where Santo will be performing the poetry of Pablo Neruda.
The next gig I’m doing is for the first ever Keep Left, a new left-wing arts event. That’ll be at the Noise Bar, Brunswick, on March 24 from 6pm.
Like spoken word? Live in Melbourne? Hell, do you like poetry and live anywhere? I hope so. I hope there are people out there looking for more spoken word in Melbourne. Because I’ve launched Melbourne Spoken Word.com.
Born from a crazy idea early in the morning when I couldn’t sleep, I’m hoping MSW.com will be the central online hub for the spoken word scene in Melbourne. It’s a great scene, full of poets doing some great stuff, and events that deserve more ears. The underground nature of spoken word in this city allows for radical, experimental and diverse voices to be heard, but exposure to this scene, and all of the aspects of it, is in desperate need.
Some of the things I hope to include:
- Information and a calendar of upcoming events from the regular nights and open mics, to special gigs, tours, festivals and slams.
- Reviews of events and gigs after they happen, as well as CDs, DVDs or books from Melbourne spoken word artists.
- Interviews and profiles, with text and video, of the poets, performers and personalities around the scene.
- Online opinion and debate about spoken word poetry and the way forward for the art form in Melbourne and Australia
- And most exciting! Videos of live performers and ‘studio’ videos from spoken word artists from around Melbourne, but also touring or interstate artists.
It’s a bit of a crazy and ambitious project. But spoken word in Melbourne is an area I’m constantly excited by and wanting to push myself further in. But to achieve this, I’m hoping that the community in Melbourne gets behind me and this project. The site is not just going to be administered and written by myself, but other members inside the scene, other actual performers and poets. If you want to contribute, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other thing is to help promote it and build up followers and fans. We already have a Facebook page and Twitter account, which needs ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ but also shares and retweets.