Samantha Slupski is a poet and mental health advocate based right in the heart of the Midwest, USA. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Poetic Underground, which was awarded Best Poetry Open Mic by The Music & More Foundation in 2018, Slam Master of Kansas City Poetry Slam, co-director of Chameleon Arts, and works at Imagine That!, a non-profit arts studio teaching and supporting artists with developmental disabilities, and was voted the 2nd best spoken word artist in The Pitch Magazine's Best of 2017.
Samantha's first book of poetry was published by EMP Press in Kansas City, MO (2017), has been published in various online journals such as Pressure Gauge Press, Blue Mountain Review, and Jazz Cigarette, and has been published on the Write About Now Youtube Channel. She is a member of the Kansas City Poetry Slam National Slam Team that will be competing in Chicago,IL in August 2018.
Her work centers around how a body maintains survival through a lifetime of trauma, how she exists as a woman, how she is learning to take up space,, and hopes to welcome people into being their most raw, honest, and unapologetic selves,while she learns to do the same.
Amanda Anastasi has been published as locally as Prahran’s Artists’ Lane walls to The Massachusetts Review in the US. Her debut poetry collection was ‘2012 and other poems’ and she recently co-authored ‘The Silences’ (Eaglemont Press, 2016). Amanda is the recipient of the 2017 Words in Winter Trentham Contemporary Poetry Prize, and a two-time winner of the Williamstown Literary Festival’s Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize. She also co-wrote and featured in the spoken word/music show Loop City (commissioned by MSO’s Sarah Curro) and I Am That Woman (2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival).
Emilie Zoey Baker is an award-winning Australian poet and spoken-word performer who has toured extensively as a guest of international festivals. She was the winner of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival’s Slam!Review. She performs regularly at arts and literature festivals, and has appeared at the Sydney Opera House and TEDx Melbourne. In 2013 she toured Indonesia and the US with the renowned Women of Letters storytelling series. Emilie is a 2014 Fellow at the State Library of Victoria. She has been poet-in-residence for Museums Victoria and coordinator for the National Australian Poetry Slam. She teaches poetry and slam in schools and in April she was core faculty at Canada’s Banff Centre for their 2014 Spoken Word program. Emilie has been published widely and is the author of 14 children’s books.
Peter Bakowski has been writing poems for 35 years, has received the Victorian Premiers Award for Poetry and writer’s residencies in Rome, Paris, Macau, Suzhou and throughout Australia. His poems continue to appear in literary journals worldwide. Peter writes clear accessible poetry. No matter how many books he writes in his lifetime they’ll all be about what it’s like to be a human being.
Farah Beaini is a spoken word poet and writer, interested in exploring stories of identity and belonging in an age of constant movement. Her work is grounded in authenticity and vulnerability, and often tackles difficult conversations within the community. She has regularly written for, featured and performed in events that celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, including TCK Town, Girls on Key, Mother Tongue and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Through her poems, she invites you to think about the fears that cobweb our lives, what we stand to lose by holding on to them, and what we gain when we let them go.
Critically acclaimed Cabaret/spoken word artist Amy Bodossian is an eccentric and unforgettable performer who's been captivating audiences for over 10 years with her unique performances. She's appeared on ABC’s Spicks and Specks and Please Like Me, performed at major festivals across Australia including Woodford Folk Festival, the Falls festival, Adelaide and Melbourne Fringe festival, and headlined most of Melbourne’s top poetry events. She's been nominated for a Green Room Award and won the Convenor's Choice Award in the 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. Amy has just released her book, Wide Open, published by Outside The Box Press. Website: www.amybodossian.com
Brendan Bonsack's poetry has featured in Melbourne’s White Night festival, and Poland’s UNESCO Poems on the Walls project. He was a commissioned public transport poet in the 2016 MoreArt Festival, and shortlisted for the XYZ Prize for Spoken Word at the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival. Brendan was feature poet at La Mama Poetica, and supported US touring poet, Madison Mae Parker. He is author of ten books of poetry, including collaborations with international writers. Brendan is a presenter on Melbourne community radio 3CR, for a weekly arts program dedicated to poetry and performance. His poetry and music is available at www.brendanbonsack.com
ReVerse Butcher is a multi-disciplinary artist with focuses in making unique artist’s books, collages, visual art, writing, poetry & performance. She will use any medium necessary to engage and subvert reality until it is less dull and oppressive. When she grows up she wants to be a well-read recluse. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Santo Cazzati is a spoken word artist. The son of Italian immigrants to Australia, he emerged from past lives as a classical concert pianist and avant garde jazz musician to teach at an elite Melbourne private school which must remain anonymous in order to protect those concerned. He performs in a range of styles, from fast rhythmical delivery to slow atmospheric meditation, with a strong music influence and critical ironic distance.
He is a founder and presenter of the long running Spoken Word radio programme on 3CR and was the PJ ('poetry jockey') of the House of Bricks Spoken Word gig from 2012-16. He is a winner of the Overload Shelton Lea Award for Best Solo Performance. Melbourne Spoken Word’s Audacious audio journal Issue 3 was a special single artist edition devoted to The Collected Smirks Of Santo Cazzati.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of the ABIA and Indie award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil, and the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race. Her poetry collection Carrying The World won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry. Maxine is the author of the CBCA Honour book listed picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Melbourne artist Van Rudd, and her second picture book Wide Big World will be published in November 2018. She writes for The Saturday Paper. Poetry is her first love.
Jennifer Compton lives in Carrum out on the Frankston line. She is a poet and playwright who also writes prose. Her stage play, The Goose In The Bottle, was short listed for the Lysicrates Prize last year and Verity La published a piece about Koo Wee Rup called Famous For Asparagus. When it comes to the poetry side of things she likes to have it every which way. She very much likes winning the Newcastle Poetry Prize and being given the big cheque. And she also very much likes the hurly burly of the open mic.
Ivana Dash is a person, poet, producer, lyricist and (lapsed) musician.
Ivana is fascinated with the musical qualities of spoken word; its rhythm, texture, dynamics, timbre and form. Her writing often reflects on the absurdity of the human condition and the themes of ‘somethingness’ and ‘nothingness’. This shows some progress from her earliest poem penned at 5 years of age, titled ‘Nature’ which began with the line ‘I like trees because trees are green’. Ivana continues to like trees. And green. And poetry.
She also hates writing about herself in third person.
Rochelle writes about her travels, cultural influences and personal experiences. Her poems; furnished with deep imagery and functional metaphors provide clear pathways into her world and her ethos. She runs a poetry collective in Mumbai called 'Words Tell Stories' that features local and international artists and also runs a slam series called ‘Mumbai Poetry Slam’. She put out India's first spoken word album - ‘Best Apology Face’ in March 2017. Her debut collection of poetry titled ‘When Home Is An Idea’, was published in Aug 2017. She endorses hugs, and hopes to disappear into the mountains someday.
Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and award-winning poet. He is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying, and is currently working on a book-length collection of fragments and related theatre show written from the transitioning body, titled Transpositions.
John Englezos is a freelance photographer, a spoken word poet and Melbourne’s 2015 Poetry Slam Champion. John was on the first Australian team to represent at the National Poetry Slam in Denver Colorado, 2017.
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 and is a cohost for Faith Speaks.
His creative work centres around notions of Hope, Identity and Wonder. He has published his first book “If The World Were Upside Down” and is working on his second.
Tim Evans is still recovering from being English and, since 2015, has been working through this by performing his poems at strangers. His hobbies include anxiety, depression, jokes, and trying to do them all at the same time. He’s been published on Audacious Vol. 4, has featured at many of Melbourne’s regular poetry events, was a Slamalongdingdong 2017 finalist, and was awarded an honourable mention at the 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. 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.
Jeltje Fanoy has been writing, editing, publishing and recording poetry since the 1970s, and she is a founding member of collective effort press and the Melbourne Poets Union. Her early influences were traditions of social critique (Bertolt Brecht, Jacques Prévert) through popular styles and themes. Jeltje calls herselfa ‘minimalist traveller’ in her poetry. She is conscious in her writing of rhythm, alliteration and patterns of speech, and mimics speech rather than paraphrase, or lift personal experience. Since the early 1990s Jeltje has also broadened her activities in collaborations with other performance artists.
Roshelle Fong is a Chinese-Australian artist whose multi-disciplinary work explores technology’s potential to inspire new expressions of humanity. Roshelle has performed at RAW Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival with Melbourne Spoken Word, and at the Sydney Opera House as an Australian Poetry Slam finalist. Her one-woman production ‘A Virtual Virtual Reality Show’ premiered at Auckland Fringe Festival 2017 and this year she is creating a solo show with the Besen Family Artist Program at Malthouse Theatre.
Ela Fornalska is a poet, language teacher and broadcaster for 3CR’s Spoken Word program. She has performed her work around Melbourne and overseas and been published by various journals and publications. Ela has performed in festivals, bars, halls, classrooms, galleries, garages, libraries, backyards, on a tram, at a wedding, on television, the radio and over the web. She has written and performed in collaborations with visual artists and fellow poets. Ela was a grand finalist in the Sydney Road Writer’ Festival and Cup, for 2017. On the very odd occasion, she will slam. She is also a keen haiku poet. Ela has created her own zines and chapbooks. She was an international guest at the festival Österreich Liest (Austria Read). Ela is the founder and MC of a poetry gig called ‘Paper Waves.’
Anna Forsyth is the founder of Girls on Key. Her poems and short stories have been published in Landfall, FourW, Poetry NZ and Headland, among other publications. She works as an event organiser and editor and currently lives in Newcastle in NSW.
Girls on Key is a regular poetry night featuring women and non-gender conforming poets.
Melinda is a spoken word poet and singer, her words are her soul on the page and stage and her music is melody that tugs at the heart. She performs with a unique raw openness that is refreshing and rare and she speaks stories and truths that need to be heard. So listen.
Waffle Irongirl regularly sets out to write poetry in the venerable tradition of Dickenson and Whitman. But she keeps getting waylaid by strong opinions, her personal cultural context and a genuine fondness for the music of Cold Chisel. The fact she can’t resist the occasional slam just keeps things interesting. Off-stage she’s vague and freshly introverted. On-stage, she’s the poetical analogue of a heavy metal karaoke.
Andy Jackson has featured at literary events and arts festivals in Australia, India, USA and Ireland, including the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival with Each Map of Scars - a performance, puppetry and film collaboration with Rachael Guy and Leonie Van Eyk. He was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize for Poetry for Among the Regulars (Papertiger 2010), and won the 2013 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize for The Thin Bridge. His new book, Music our Bodies can't Hold (Hunter Publishers 2017), consists of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome.
Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, and community radio broadcaster. Her poems have appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review and Going Down Swinging, and broadcast on national and international radio. She is the creator of the Melbourne Poetry Map, and a former Editor in Chief of Peril Magazine.
Kim Jeffs is observant. She inspects that which surrounds her, seeking to understand it – and herself – in the sum of the details. She enjoys contrasts, disharmony, contradiction and discordant juxtapositions. Her work whispers subversion – politics in the pores seen under the microscope. She is interested in loss, trauma, body image and the psyche. More recently she has written about love. Kim has performed several features in Melbourne and Canberra, has been occasionally published, and pops up on open mics when she has the opportunity. One day she might get her act together and put together a chapbook.
Kendra Keller (aka Lady Longdrop) is a multidisciplinary artist, working across spoken word, dance and physical performance. Her intricate work weaves personal, political and mystical themes, dodges defences and gets hearts by the gonads. Recent performance highlights include ‘Quan Yin in a Bird Cage’, featured at the 2017 Melaka Art and Performance Festival. ‘Cradle’, seeded in Tasmania’s Tarkine wilderness area, with the support of the Bob Brown Foundation,toured festivals and events around Australia in 2017. Lady Longdrop is regularly invited to perform as a spoken word artist, with recent features including, La Mama Poetica, one of Australia’s most respected poetry showcase events.
Carmen Main is a writer and spoken word performer from Melbourne. Her style is personal, attempts immediacy, and is heavily influenced by pop culture, music and art. She blurs lines between poetry and catharsis. Carmen received an Honourable Mention at The Melbourne Spoken Word Prize 2015 and is included in the audio journal Audacious Volume 2, published by MSW. Carmen regularly hosts Spoken Word, on Melbourne Community Radio station 3CR. She has featured at many Melbourne poetry gigs, loves listening to and being on the open mic and is grateful to be able to share her work with others. She can't help but keep writing.
Fleassy Malay is an Internationally renowned, evocative and powerful spoken word artist, speaker and coach from the UK. A global advocate for Women’s rights and a fierce voice for the power of authenticity and connection as a social change tool. Now based in Melbourne, Australia, she runs Melbourne’s acclaimed Women's Spoken Word event, Mother Tongue. A passionate, powerful, vulnerable and honest performer who's words and courses leave a profound impression.
As a self-identified queer, erotic, spiritual, mother she has a theatrical and yet deeply authentic performance and speaking style, renowned for captivating her audiences with depth, honesty, and humor.
Tariro is a Melbourne/Naarm based artist who uses multiple disciplines to connect through creativity. Tariro writes and performs poetry as well as facilitates workshops around Australia. She sees art as a conversation, a dialogue and her practice focuses on creativity as a facilitator of change. She also works as an actor on the Australian stage (MTC, STC, Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir, Red Stitch) and screen (Neighbours, Winners and Losers), has been an actor in the internationally acclaimed, awarding winning web series Shakespeare Republic and has done voice overs for La Trobe, AFLW and Thomas The Tank Engine (UK). Tariro directs and devises theatre works with different collectives and collaborators. Tariro trained at the Victorian College of the Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in 2011 and was awarded the Irene Mitchell Award for excellence. Tariro also founded and produced Africa's Got Talent Australia for three years and was a founding member of Still Waters African Women's Storytelling Collective and the Centre for Poetics and Justice.
Tenda McFly is best described as an amalgamation of hip-hop and spoken word poetry. He recently released a project titled Memoirs and subsequently presented it to a sold-out audience in a format which encompassed elements of theater, spoken word, rap and visual art. In the past, he has opened for The Game, Lloyd and has been on the bill for a number of notable QLD & VIC music festivals. As a spoken word poet, Tenda has also performed as a TEDx Speaker at 3 different events. His material manages to pass as carefree and fun whilst being mesmerizing and thought-provoking. There is an accessible youthful intelligence here that is both representative of his life experience and his generation. Tenda is also a member of Band of Brothaz & the collective, NoA.
John McKelvie is a poet-singer/songwriter from Scotland who has spent the most of his adult life in Melbourne where he has become fairly well known on the poetry scene and various bars. His poems have been included in a number of anthologies including Best Australian Poems.
Maurice McNamara has articles and poems in print both here and overseas. Was co-director of the Overload Poetry Festival, and has run a number of regular poetry events. Has featured at the Queensland Poetry Festival, and many times locally and interstate. His book, Half Hour Country, was published by Small Change Press. Runner up in Poetry Idol and the Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup; winner of the Martin Downey Urban Realism Award 2016, and the best comedy poem 2015 for Melbourne Poets Union.Write here…
Did Sigrun choose the page or did the page pick Sig? Ask her mother and you might hear of occasions, when after tucking a 2 yr old Sig, she would come back and find the toddler out of her cot, huddled on the floor, absorbed in flipping through her picture books.
Now Sigrun attempts to write words that will make you laugh, cry and kiss your loved ones passionately, because what are the stakes if not our very souls goddammit.
Somewhere born Sean O'Callaghan has been writing poetry since - dinosaurs or whatever, he has travelled to/in - places, been published in books/other things and has recently launched/is about to launch a thing called Sean O’Callaghan - he is a captivating and funny performer who everybody likes heaps, Maurice McNamara once said something nice about him on Facebook: “He's like a miniature tsunami with warm spells. He's the goods." - Maurice McNammara
Alan is a popular performance poet and winner of the Melbourne Spoken Word Prize (2017). In a previous life he ran Melbourne’s first stand up club and starred in TV comedy hit “Fast Forward”. His poetry is provocative and entertaining.
Krish Prasad is an Indian-born spoken word artist and performer whose work is based on deconstructing human relationships and behaviour. Using biting humour, theatrical portrayals, and sudden changes in tempo and intensity, he creates an authentic representation of the modern human and the war with identity.
Krish started writing at 14 and has been performing on stage for around 8 years. During this time, he has performed at several venues in his hometown of Mumbai, India and his adopted home of Melbourne, Australia.
He also cooks a mean red-bean curry, loves winter and warm socks and is a part-time human.
Alushka brings together the intersectionality of her South African Indian heritage, being queer and being an immigrant in Australia in her poetry. She aims to offer you an honest representation of her life and her story, attempting to capture the nuances of what sets her apart. She has always attempted to make people feel vulnerable and raw in their connection to what she she has to offer. Sit back, relax and let her take you on a journey through hurting, growing up, finding strength and ultimately learning what love and home truely are.
Charlotte Raymond first discovered spoken word when on exchange in Madrid. Since then she has dabbled in the Melbourne poetry scene, hoping to get more involved. Studying a Masters of Social Work, she is a big fan of critical reflection with her poetic influences stemming from the world around her. She enjoys hobbies that speak directly to her soul and making terrible puns. She is currently writing a vegan cookbook, ‘Beets By Ray.’
Trixi Rosa is a writer and performance poet from Punakaiki, Aotearoa (NZ). She writes an awkward inquiry into the intersections of identity and the endless pursuit of place. She shares stories of struggle and survival, resilience and resistance. Stories of family, love and sexuality. Her poetry bleeds personal experience, both lived and perceived.
Trixi Rosa recently won the People’s Choice Award at The 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. You can find her facilitating creative community development projects with local NGO’s and lurking around spoken word gigs in Naarm (Melbourne).
Steve Smart is currently enjoying Footscray bars just a little too much. But he's writing like a fiend, so all is well. Steve has been performing his work for almost exactly half his life and shows some clinical resistance to giving up the art. He likes the feeling of bare feet on a stage.
Benjamin Solah is a spoken word artist who grew up in Western Sydney now living in Melbourne with his partner and two fur-babies, where he founded Melbourne Spoken Word and co-produces Slamalamadingdong. He has been described as "no-holds barred, passionate." His writing has appeared in Overland, Cordite and Going Down Swinging and he has appeared at White Night Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe and the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver, Colorado, as well as Write About Now and toured Texas in 2017.
Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet and broadcaster. She is passionate about science, art and football. She is one sixth of the ABC podcast, The Outer Sanctum. Alicia co-edited and written for From the Outer: Footy Like You've Never Heard It and A Footy Girl's Guide alongside Nicole Hayes.
Kylie is "a woman, electricity, an artist", a short play of nothing, as she is nothing. Kylie is another version of a version of my fragile mind, so easily broken by a scream of a V-Twin engine ego of a man. Kylie like most artists loves talking and talking about herself, and she loves talking and talking about nothing.
It is not that she is selfish, she is just following John Cage's teacher's advice (Schoenberg): “Talent learns from others; genius learns from itself. Talent learns from art; genius learns from its own nature"
Yoram Symons is a poet, writer and spoken word performer from Melbourne, Australia. Yoram was a Victorian State finalist in the 2017 Australian Poetry Slam, a Finalist in the 2017 Melbourne Spoken Word prize and winner of the 2017 Grounded Battle of the Arts Spoken Word competition.
Yoram’s work focuses on revolutionary politics, spirituality and evolutionary transformation on both a personal and global level. He recently released his first book - The Whale: A Poem about Religion, Sex and Evolution.
Sharifa A Tartoussi is a dental student, poet and performer. Equal parts worrier, warrior and all round human, when she is not squinting at teeth or hitting the books, she writes and sometimes, she works up the courage to perform. She is involved in several creative projects, most notably becoming half the founding party of GriffinSpeak; a poetry and spoken word gig that runs quarterly and aims to create space for voices from marginalised groups around Melbourne. Her style has been described as teetering on the boundary between the fire that warms and the fire that burns with a unique mix of traditional storytelling, millennial boundary pushing and raw emotion with influences from both eastern and western art and literature owing to her traditional Arab upbringing in a western climate. Her work focuses mainly on ideas of race identity, inclusive feminism in the arts and what it means to be a young Middle Eastern Muslim woman in a world that is constantly debating her right to exist. She has performed in a variety of spaces including opening for Sierra DeMulder in Melbourne in 2017 with her first slam win in November of 2016, since which she has gone on to become the Victorian slam champion for 2017/18 and compete in the national finals the Sydney Opera house in the same year. She has a soft spot for traditional middle-eastern poets that have not yet been propelled into the realms of mainstream appropriation, baby goats, dishes that contain coconut milk, outrageously large glasses and anything that reminds her of pre-war home. She releaseed her first Chapbook, ColourBlind, in early 2018.
wāni is a proud descendant of the bashi peoples of wallungu as well as the current incarnation of the Afronaut. He spends a majority of his times teleporting through different universes and time-scapes navigating between dreams of becoming the fire-fist pirate king Hokage master of all four elements, and unfolding tales from a generation of peoples who quite honestly might be too good for this universe. You can find him currently manifesting the form of a polyglot living and creating on the occupied lands of Narrm.
Sean M Whelan is a poet, playwright, DJ and marriage celebrant. He has published two books of poetry, Love is the New Hate and Tattooing the Surface of the Moon. He also works extensively with musicians, most notably Isnod and The Interim Lovers. He has performed his work widely both nationally and overseas. In 2014 he was awarded a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria. He is currently working on a new collection of poetry and new recordings.
Ostensibly illiterate for a large part of his early life and dropping out of school early, Cheung-Ling started life again in his twenties after he narrowly avoided institutionalization, saved by a timely I.Q test. Largely self-taught, and eventually graduating with honours as a horticultural scientist from Melbourne Uni. Poetry played a pivotal role in his rehabilitation. Unable to work due to early onset psychosomatic injuries, he now spends his time writing poetry.
Cheung had performed at the Bahia’s ‘101 Camberwell Nights’, Baringa Gallery, Dan O’Connell, Boroondara Soirees and at many other venues. Cheung-Ling ran a poetry soiree for the Red Cross at their Hawthorn Glenferrie Road retail shop, the event was called ‘Mr Wong’s English Lesson’ and now he runs the ‘Be Mused’ poetry reading evenings as a Red Cross fundraiser at Hawthorn’s ‘The Resistance Bar and Café’. This gig is in association with the Red Cross refugee and asylum seek advocacy program, ‘Community Conversations’.
Cheung-Ling has spent ten years writing and reading poetry for radio at 3WBC 94.1 FM. in Box Hill. He has self-published one book ‘Dream Shadows’ and has written an epic poem ‘Yarra Elegy’ that is yet to be published. Cheung-Ling’s poetry reflects upon the human condition and the fragility of existence and the importance of hope and love. Words have become the opiate and salve for his wounds from childhood both physical and mental. Every syllable in his verse is but an echo from his guiding spirit of healing. Wong’s poetry melds dark ambience with didacticism and implicit and explicit mysticism. Festival event:
Sista Zai Zanda is a storyteller, educator and radio producer. She has facilitated poetry and storytelling workshops in Australia, Zimbabwe and Denmark. In 2011, she founded Stillwaters Storytelling Collective, a platform for diverse women’s voices led by Black African women. Stillwaters performed at the Emerging Writers Festival, the Big West Festival, La Mama Theatre and the Light In Winter Festival. Currently, Zai hosts and curates the Pan Afrikan Poets Café, the home of new, cutting edge and classic Afrikan literature. This is a pop up literary event for stories by and about Afrikan and First Nations’ storytellers. Zai established the Pan Afrikan Poets Café in 2015 with the intention to celebrate Africa’s rich literary legacy and diverse storytelling traditions while showing love and respect for First Nations peoples. Since 2015, Zai has spoiled audiences in Melbourne and Sydney with over 100 performances by Afrikan, First Nations and Pasifika artists. Recently, she co-produced a Pan Afrikan Poets Café event, #BlackGirlMagic at the Arts Centre Melbourne, bringing a highly diverse audience to Australia’s largest performing arts venue. One of Zai’s career highlights from Africa is curating and programming the Youth Arts Zone for one of Africa’s top ten international arts festivals, HIFA (the Harare International Festival Of The Arts). Zai’s latest publication, God Is A Black Womban, is a Black Feminist text that is rooted in a long tradition of Afrikan Women’s naked protest. God Is A Black Womban is also available for download as a poem set to Reggae/Dub music at www.thirdculturedub.bandcamp.com/album/god-is-a-black-womban.
* 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.