I've been diving head first into the terrifying recently. Going to spoken word gigs and putting my name down for the open mike section. Getting up there and reading my work to a room full of strangers. Like I said, terrifying and incredibly humbling to share a stage with giants in the Melbourne scene.
I've been to Passionate Tongues at the Brothers Arms in Fitzroy, Dan Poets at the Dan O'Connell in Carlton, Littlefoot & Co in Narrewarren and Girls on Key in Northcote. The first time I got up behind the mike I was petrified. Everyone was looking. And no-one was being distracted, they were all staring. And listening. To me. I somehow got through that very first poem, hand shaking as I held the piece of paper and spoke into the microphone. The audience were amazing and supportive. When I said it was my first open mike ever, they whooped and hollered. The poetry community here in Melbourne is the best!
I love hearing poets read their own work. There's nothing quite like it. Sometimes a word captures my ear and my imagination. Other times it's the poet's voice rolling and crashing on the shores of my memories. In the last few moths I've had the privilege of hearing Fenella Edwards, Benjamin Solah, Waffle Irongirl, Wani, Robbie Coburn and Krish Prasad. And they're just the featured artists.
If you're interested in spoken word and live in Melbourne check out the excellent Melbourne Spoken Word for gigs near you. There are amazing poets performing in venues all across Melbourne and a lot of the gigs are free. You can pretty much go see live poetry every night of the week. It's awesome. Go check it out!