Amanda Anastasi is a Melbourne poet whose work has been published as locally as Prahran’s Artist Lane walls to The Massachusetts Review in the US. She is the convener of La Mama Poetica, and the author of ‘2012 and other poems’ and co-author of ‘The Silences' (Eaglemont Press, 2016). Amanda is a two-time winner of the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize and a recent recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, where she worked on her upcoming speculative poetry collection ‘2042’. Amanda is currently a Research Associate at the Monash University Climate Change Communications Research Hub, where she is writing poetry to raise awareness on ecological issues and the climate crisis.
AndyJackson has featured as a poet and a performer at literary events and arts festivals in Ireland, India, the USA and Australia. His poems have been selected for five of the last six annual editions of The Best Australian Poems. Andy's most recent collection, Music our bodies can't hold (Hunter Publishers, 2017), consists of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome, and his new collection Human looking is forthcoming. He has worked in call-centres, libraries, and as a creative writing tutor, and is almost finished a PhD in poetry and bodily otherness through the University of Adelaide.
Anna Fern's poetry is a hybrid of spoken word, sound and song. She's won the Doris Leadbetter Melbourne Poetry Cup and been a guest at many venues, including Woodford Folk Festival (Qld). Her work has appeared in Unusual Work, Rabbit, Best Australian Poems and Voiceprints. She's run La Mama Poetica, and currently helps out with the Citizens Circus.
Texas-born Afro-Latina poet, performance artist, and dancer Arielle Cottingham is an internationally touring whirlwind. With a theatre degree, two books, and an Australian Poetry Slam Championship under her belt, she explores the interplay between spoken word and the body, merging elements of dance and physical theatre with written poetry to create multidisciplinary short works that she has toured through Texas, Australia, and Southeast Asia, from the pubs of Melbourne to the cafes of Singapore to the Sydney Opera House. Her first collection, Black and Ropy, was released through Pitt Street Poetry in 2017.
Benjamin Solah is a spoken word perform, organiser, curator, promoter and videographer. Growing up in Western Sydney and now living in Brunswick West, he’s been performing poetry and spoken word around Melbourne since 2010, having featured at most of the major poetry events, including Passionate Tongues, and Slamalamadingdong. His work has appeared in Cordite, Overland and Going Down Swinging as well as on YouTube with Write About Now and SlamFind. He’s the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word and a current co-producer of Slamalamadingdong, which has taken him as couch and performer to the United States twice, touring New York and Texas. His forthcoming collection is My Anxiety Has Imposter Syndrome.
Bill Moran is a performance poet and former medic from Houston, TX. He is a two-time Austin Poetry Slam Champion, and has an MFA Poetry degree from Louisiana State University. He has toured regularly since 2011, performing and teaching throughout Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the US. His work has been featured on Button Poetry (video), University of Hell Press, Alien Mouth, Pressure Gauge Press, and Phoebe. He currently lives and works in Houston as a teaching artist for Writers in the Schools, and his solo debut book 'Oh God Get Out Get Out' is now available through Write Bloody Publishing.
Winner of Outspoken 2018 and Gender Outlaws 2019; Castiel Lee is a Korean-Australian poet, who is a currently studying at Monash University. As an advocate of positive social change, Cas uses poetry as a mode of storytelling. Touching upon themes of identity, mental health and interpersonal connections, she explores how wide arrays of social issues influence the nature of our relationships with others. Cas’s passion about mental health, serves as her motivator to revolutionise its study as an aspiring future psychiatrist.
Claire Gaskin’s first book was a chapbook entitled, A snail in the Ear of the Buddha, published by Soup Publications. Her collection, a bud, completed in the receipt of a Literature Board grant, was published by John Leonard Press in 2006 and shortlisted in the SA Literature Awards. Her collection, Paperweight, was published by John Hunter Publishers in 2013. Eurydice Speaks is forthcoming with John Hunter Publishers in 2019. She is working on her fourth collection with the working title of Ismene’s Survivable Resistance.
Daymon Greulich, aka ‘Hunch’ explores boundaries through spoken word with rambunctious rantings of insight, self loathing and self acceptance. Known for his signature syncopated delivery and off-beat content, he bridges the gap between Dr. Seuss and Eminem as he searches for humour and meaning in the dark recesses of the human condition. He’s also obsessed with electronic music because he’s actually a robot, but he’s trying hard to be human.
Di Cousens is a Melbourne poet and photographer. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry and is published in anthologies and journals. She has featured at Passionate Tongues, Girls on Key, Melbourne Poets Union, Poets at Watsonia, the Loop Bar, Westword and the Muddy Rivers Slam. She is also well known for her work in interfaith dialogue and social justice advocacy. She is one of the producers of the 3CR radio program, Spoken Word. Her most recent collection, 'the days pass without name', was launched by former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs.
Edward Caruso works as a book editor. His poems have been published in Right Now and n-Scribe. In 2010, he published his first book of poems, Di Alture ed altre Utopie (written in Italian). His second collection of poems, Blue Milonga, a collection of poems written in Chile and Argentina, was published by Hybrid Publishers here in Melbourne in January 2019. He regularly appears at Melbourne Spoken Word venues.
Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster. Author of A Leaving (Vagabond Press), her live album, One Night Wonders, is produced by Going Down Swinging. A passionate advocate for diverse and inclusive cultures, she is Chair of Peril Magazine and Vice-Chair of The Stella Prize.
Two times TEDx speaker and viral poet, Fleassy Malay is an Internationally renowned, evocative and powerful spoken word artist, speaker and coach. A global advocate for Women’s rights and a fierce voice for the power of authenticity and courage as a social change tool.
Founder of Melbourne’s acclaimed Women's Spoken Word event, Mother Tongue. A passionate, powerful, vulnerable and honest performer who's words, workshops and courses leave a profound impression.
A self-identified queer, erotic, spiritual, mother she has a theatrical and yet deeply authentic performance style, renowned for captivating her audiences with depth, honesty, and humour.
In 2017 she published her book, Sex and God, performed internationally and became the first women to represent Australia at the National Poetry Slam, USA. In 2018 her poem, Witches, went viral on International Women's Day with over one million views in 3 days, with over 2.8 million views to date. Towards the end of the year she completed a US tour, and launched her album of spoken word Unhear This.
Henry Briffa is an emerging poet and a Melbourne Psychologist. Walking Home, his debut chapbook has been published by the Melbourne Poets Union. In early 2019 he undertook a residency at Bundanon. In 2018 he received a special commendation in the Queensland Poetry Festival Elder Emerging Poet Mentorship Award. His poems have been published in local journals (including Unusual Works, N-scribe, Poems on Posters at the University of Western Australia), and overseas (Golfo and Teesta). He with an interest in the relationship between poetry and therapy.
Indrani Perera is a Melbourne poet, photographer and maker fascinated by the process of creating and the alchemy of making. She is the author of the poetry collections, Defenestration (1997) and Pas Des Deux (forthcoming with Ginninderra Press). Her most recent publication is Wild Heart, a hand-bound limited edition chapbook. In 2017 she won the Elyne Mitchell Bonus Prize for non fiction.
John Englezos is a freelance photographer, a spoken word poet and Melbourne’s 2015 Poetry Slam Champion. He was part of the first Australian team representing at the National Poetry Slam Finals in Denver Colorado, 2017. His first book "If The World Were Upside Down" centres around notions of Hope, Identity and Wonder. He has mentored and run workshops for creative people in the fields of live performance and visual arts; is a speaker coach for Tedx St Kilda; is an uncle to four and a brother to many.
Find John's work @johnepoetry Instagram / Facebook / Wordpress
Katie Lohner is a spoken word and multi-disciplinary artist from Melbourne. Her quirky performance style has touched audiences including Mother Tongue, Fresh Voices, HillScene and Speaking the Sacred. Drawing from memory and family, Katie’s poetry has led her to being described as one of the most unique performers in Melbourne. She was a 2018 finalist at The Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. Her practice also extends from poetry to a range of performance art, as well as graphic design and visual arts.
Luka Lesson is an Australian born poet and rap artist of Greek heritage. Luka’s work engages with the mythology of his family homeland, the fiercely political and the vulnerably self-reflective. Luka is a previous Australian Poetry Slam Champion, had poems published in a number of international anthologies, released his own collections and musical albums and toured extensively both at home and abroad. Luka has always used education programs as a form of activism and social change in schools and universities worldwide. His poem 'May Your Pen Grace The Page' will appear in Australian English curriculums from 2019 until 2025. Luka runs his own annual poetry retreat is his grandfather’s village on the island of Rhodes, Greece.
MELIZARANI T.SELVA is a spoken word poet venturing into prose. To date, she has represented Malaysia at the Commonwealth People's Forum in London and ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. Her notable performances include, TEDxGateway in Mumbai and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Her first book titled ‘Taboo’ made Top 10 Best-Seller List on Malaysia’s No.1 Online Bookstore (MPH). To date, her poems have been translated in French and Bahasa Malaysia. Presently, co-runs the Malaysia National Poetry Slam and has co-published an anthology comprising of 100 poems by 61 poets from Malaysia titled 'When I Say Spoken, You Say Word!'
Michael “Mic” Ting is an Asian American poet born and raised in the Bay Area. He has competed on three national slam poetry teams, and in 2015, he helped Team Palo Alto take 2nd at Group Piece Finals during the National Poetry Slam. In addition to performing as part of a team, Mic has also competed as an individual at IWPS 2018 (Individual World Poetry Slam), InkSlam, Southwest Shootout, and NUPIC (National Underground Poetry Individual Competition). His work can be found on PSI, SlamFind, and Write About Now. Mic is also the reigning 2018 IWPS champion and currently ranked as the #1 slam poet in the world.
Morgaine van Wingerden
Morgaine van Wingerden is a Melbourne based poet and spoken word artist. She shares stories that are deeply personal, often bleak and sometimes funny. She has performed her poetry across Australia and the United States, appearing at the Bowery Poetry Club and competing with the only Australian team in the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago.
Nat is a singer-songwriter, composer, and spoken word poet based in Melbourne. She won the 2018 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize at the Northcote Town Hall in December 2018, and was runner up in Slamalamadingdong’s gender outlaw slam. Nat is the founder and director of Puddledog Productions, a business where she creates customized songs as personalized gifts. She is currently composing her first Musical, called "Couches", and is also writing a new web-series, called "Quarter-Tones", to be released later this year. She is currently drafting her first collection of poetry “Purity: Unsuccessful attempts to simplify life”.
Rania has been writing since she was 14 but only started pursuing poetry seriously in 2015, when she joined the West Writers group at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. There she was introduced to more poets and slowly became known in the poetry scene. Rania aims to change perspectives via her poetry and thus inspire change from within.
Described as “a right-on wordsmith and master of comic poignancy” (Sabotage Reviews), Stephanie Dogfoot has won national poetry slams in Singapore and the UK, and has represented both countries at international poetry slams. She has been a featured writer and performer at the Georgetown Literary Festival, the Adelaide Fringe, Glastonbury Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, and many more. She founded and runs a poetry night in Singapore called Spoke & Bird, which features local and international poets, musicians and storytellers. Her first poetry collection, Roadkill for Beginners (Math Paper Press) was published in March 2019.
Steve Smart has been a performance poet since the late 90s. That makes him... middle aged. He's gradually embracing the concept. Steve has performed on three continents, at more venues in more cities than he can number. Being on stage provokes less anxiety for him than not being on stage. He is an event coordinator, current President of Melbourne Poets Union, and a fan of Amy Poehler. For MSWPF 2019 Steve is reaching into his archive and pulling out a treasured piece of his history.
Tenda McFly is a rapper and spoken word poet living and working in Melbourne. His material is mesmerizing and thought-provoking, offering a youthful intelligence that is representative of both his life experience and his generation. His next project is the secret show.
Instagram: @Tendacanfly Website: Tendacanfly.com
Thabani Tshuma is Zimbabwean born and raised. He’s been living abroad for the greater part of the last decade, from Massachusetts to Johannesburg to Melbourne. Featured author at Djed Press and 2019 Hot Desk Fellow with the Wheeler centre compiling his debut poetry collection. His work is influenced by the myriad identity challenges of the diaspora, expatriates and immigrants, while also addressing awareness around addiction, mental health and generational trauma. He is currently in his final year of studying journalism, and can be regularly found in the Melbourne spoken word scene, having most recently won Slamalamadingdong’s 2019 Grand Slam. Writing is the aperture through which he views the world and experiences self in relation to others.
Tim Evans is recovering from being English and has been performing his poems at people all over Melbourne and Victoria since 2015. He’s been published in Audacious Vol. 4, Australian Poetry Journal and Solid Air (UQP). He received an honourable mention at the Melbourne Spoken Word Prize 2017. In 2018 he won a place on the Slamalamadingdong! team, performing at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago and venues in New York. Several people have said nice things about his poetry but have refused to go on the record. He likes using self-deprecation but he isn't very good at it.
Zaynab is a Somali, Melbourne-based Spoken word artist. Driven to support and give back to her community; her pieces explore intricate personal experiences and topics that she’s very passionate about. Zaynab has performed on various platforms, which include both community and local events. She performed at the Sydney 2018 Word Travels event . She was the winner of the Woodend Heat for the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam and The runner up for the 2019 Slamalamadingdong Grand Slam.
* Some events contain frank discussions of controversial topics. Some events may contain content that some viewers consider challenging. May be suitable for mature audiences or require adult supervision.