The closing night for the Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival at Howler in Brunswick on Sunday night was incredible. Six featured poets, four hours of spoken word and more inspiration than you could poke a stick at.
Jon Englezos had me wiping away surreptitious tears with his beautiful poem about his yai yai. A masterful example of the power of story to connect us all.
I am so lucky to live in country where we can all speak up and be heard. Huge thanks to Melbourne Spoken Word for bringing Rania Ahmed to the stage last night to share her poetry. Seeing the world through her eyes was a revelation.
Legendary poet Claire Gaskin rocked the stage last night with her reinterpretation of Greek mythology, giving voice to the women ignored by his/story.
I'm steeling reeling from Tenda McFly's performance. A mixture of spoken and sung word plus video and collaboration. If you're a poet, go check out Gladiator. It will inspire you to keep writing.
American poet Bill Moran gave a stream of consciousness Beat style performance melding spoken word and music with haunting images. He has got the most expressive face I think I've ever seen.
Headlining the event was the Individual World Poetry Slam champion Mic Ting. I was mesmerized by his eloquence and use of gestures to illustrate a point or heighten the moment. I attended his Extended Metaphor workshop on Saturday which was amazing. It was wonderful to then hear how he incorporates metaphor into his work. He also used characters and personas in his performance. This was beyond poetry. It was a masterclass in storytelling.
I hung around for the after party, chatting to fellow poets, meeting the features and not wanting the night to end. The whole festival has been the most incredible experience and I am so grateful to Benjamin Solah and the whole team over at Melbourne Spoken Word for all their hard work in putting the festival on.