The prosaic fight for public poetry

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By Madeleine Dore*

http://publishing.artshub.com.au/news-article/features/writing-and-publishing/the-prosaic-fight-for-public-poetry-247009

Friday 30 January, 2015
The loss of a major poetry event is a blow in the battle for poetry in public spaces. We look at what works and why.

Melbourne has lost one of its core public poetry events.  After years of monthly poetry events at Beer DeLuxe for years, Poetry@ Fed Square has come to an end.

The loss has been mourned by the literary community but is also being used as a guide to running successful poetry events.

In a farewell to Poetry@fedsquare, online poetry community Melbourne Spoken Word said: ‘It’s also especially sad when a gig has to wrap up.

Dimitris Troaditis has been running poetry@fedsquare for the past two years, where he hosted a monthly poetry gig, inside the Atrium at Fed Square or upstairs at Beer DeLuxe, and was especially encouraging of poetry in other languages, himself writing and performing poetry in Greek.



‘Unfortunately, Fed Square have chosen to discontinue to the event from this year and so we’ve lost this treasure,’ wrote Benjamin Solah.
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Farewell poetry@fedquare

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Words by Benjamin Solah

Poetry gigs come and go. It’s always so exciting when a new gig comes up, in a new venue, or if we see someone taking the initiative to keep our scene chugging along by setting up their own gig. I’m in awe of some of the gigs and their organisers that have kept gigs running for so long, for their hard work and determination but also convincing venues and organisers to keep supporting spoken word when it doesn’t always seem like the most booming art form.

Some gigs have survived many venue swaps, as one pub decides to shun poetry, that convince another to keep it alive.

It’s also especially sad when a gig has to wrap up.

Dimitris Troaditis has been running poetry@fedsquare for the past two years, where he hosted a monthly poetry gig, inside the Atrium at Fed Square or upstairs at Beer DeLuxe, and was especially encouraging of poetry in other languages, himself writing and performing poetry in Greek.

Melbourne Spoken Word was very happy to support this event, publicising it along with all of the other gigs, and doing our little bit to get people along. I hope some of you got the chance to make it along one Saturday. I had the pleasure of performing alongside some refugee poets there one Saturday afternoon, and it was always a pleasure to meet the regular open mic readers that had called this event home.

Unfortunately, Fed Square have chosen to discontinue to the event from this year and so we’ve lost this treasure. Like Australian poetry as a whole lost ABC Poetica, and everyone remembers losing The Spinning Room due to the venue being refurbished, we hope that Dimitris continues to host a new gig at a new venue when he’s ready.

As one venue decides to not support poetry, we’ll find another that does and continue to find people to support it so we can keep on performing.

*Published at http://melbournespokenword.com/?p=1320 with lots of thanks.

Poetry@fedsquare – Saturday, 15 November 2014 2-4pm – Federation Square – Melbourne

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Federation Square – Melbourne
Saturday, 15 November 2014 2-4pm
Either at The Atrium or Beer DeLuxe upstairs

Dear poets and lovers of poetry

As 2014 approaches at the end this is the last event for the year with three amazing poets, Esther Oliver, Sean O’Callaghan and Avril Bradley

Plus our usual open mic reader section

Esther Oliver
Esther is represented in The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets, The Orange Tree: Australian Poetry to the Present Day and in 15 other anthologies/magazines/ journals. Performed at a Writers Festival in Melbourne, and at an Education Weekend talking about NIA Dance (NIA stands for ‘Neuro Muscular Integrative Action’, which uses Music, Dance, Martial Arts and Yoga modalities to energize the Body and Spirit). She has performed on ABC Radio and at Writers Festivals, schools, colleges, universities, and recently gave a speech welcoming New Citizens to Australia at an Australian Citizenship Ceremony. She hasn’t finished writing her book yet, as she is busy being a sports competitor at Pan Pacific Games Masters Rowing, ranked 3rd in the world in sprint trials, and is busy with 3 children, tutoring, and coaching Radio students for a community radio station. Her published short stories and articles have been about everything from a walking stick to Vitamin D deficiency and NIA Dance (which she teaches).

Sean O’Callaghan
Sean O’Callaghan is an Irish born Melbourne based poet, an extraordinary poet.
He is mixing his poetry with animation and multiple media, videos etc where he has been accompanied by other artists. His most poems have been published in the magazine “Unsual Work” edited and published by ΠΟ and the Collective Effort Press. Twho characteristic poems by Sean are well gven in the following links

Avril Bradley
Avril Bradley’s poetry is published Australia wide, in magazines and journals.
She has published 3 poetry books and edited two collections of children’s poetry.
Her latest collection is ‘inter alia’(Ginninderra Press 2012)
A collaboration with her children and grandchildren, of writings and illustrations, entitled ‘Errant sheep and cats on the fiddle’ is forthcoming in 2014. She is working on a collection of dance poems entitled ‘The Fragile Geometry of Dancers.’ In 2013 she won the Poetica Christi competition ‘Searching the depths’ was placed both first and second in ‘The Tango Australis’ competiton and published in ‘Award Winning Australian Writing. ( Melbourne Books.)

Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of every month (except December and January) under the Federation Square and the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.
Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of each month (February-November)
Contact details
Dimitris Troaditis
poetryfedsquare@gmail.com
troaditisdimitris@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/PoetryAtFedSquare
http://twitter.com/poetryfedsquare

Poetry@fedsquare is an event by Fed Square

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Poetry@fedsquare is also proudly supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria

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Robert Lloyd plays Dylan Thomas – poetry@fedsquare – Saturday, 18 October 2014

poetry@fedsquare

Robert Lloyd plays Dylan Thomas

Federation Square

Either at The Atrium or Beer DeLuxe upstairs

Saturday, 18 October 2014 2-4pm

Dear poets and lovers of poetry,

26 October 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great poet Dylan Thomas. Poetry@fedsquare celebrates this occasion together with Robert Lloyd, a Melbourne-based composer, singer-songwriter and poet, and cellist Adi Sappir.

Plus of course our lovely open mic readers.

Robert Lloyd took his mother’s ashes home when he visited the Wales of her forbears while tracing the origins of his hero, poet Dylan Thomas.

Lloyd will celebrate the centenary of the Welsh poet’s birth at Federation Square on October 16. He with cellist Adi Sappir will perform poems he has set to music and songs inspired by the 2012 trip in which he visited Thomas’ birthplace in Swansea, the Welsh fishing village of Laugharne, where he lived with his family, and the Chelsea Hotel, in New York City, where he was staying at the time of his death in November 1953.

Robert

Lloyd is a classically trained musician whose projects include music for Ohio Ballet’s Feral, Bold New Buildings for Australian Dance Theatre and Time Being Time, a one-hour work for singers, spoken voices, strings and percussion premiered in 1999 at the Supreme Court building in Darwin. He has turned to solo performance in recent years and, backed by Sappir, will perform versions of Thomas’s poems including In my craft or sullen art and a villanelle inspired by Thomas called Everyday my ancestors call me home. (Excerpt from a larger article Larry Shwartz pitched to The Age).

ADI

Adi Sappir writes songs with a cello in her hand. Over the past decade she has been exploring the possibilities of voice and cello, through an increasing collection of original songs. Her music is intimate and the lyrics are personal. Songs come out of a mix of Adi’s original Hebrew with her adopted English. They reflect her life as an immigrant in multicultural inner Melbourne. In late 2011 Adi recorded Insomnia as a reflection of her first decade of life in Australia.
Since 2003, Adi has been playing with seasoned musicians guitarist/singer Mark Ferrie and guitarist Andrew Pendlebury. They are The Mercurials.

Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of every month (except December and January) under the Federation Square and the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Contact details
Dimitris Troaditis
poetryfedsquare@gmail.com
troaditisdimitris@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/PoetryAtFedSquare

http://twitter.com/poetryfedsquare

Poetry@fedsquare is an event by Fed Square

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Poetry@fedsquare is also proudly supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria

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poetry@fedsquare Saturday 16 August 2014 – Featuring Adrian Grima – Accompanied by Nick Tsiavos

poetry@fedsquare Saturday 16 August 2014

Beer DeLuxe upstairs – Federation Square

2-4pm

Featuring Adrian Grima

Accompanied by Nick Tsiavos

Dear poets and lovers of poetry

poetry@fedsquare swims internationaly this month with our international visitor poet Adrian Grima from Malta who will be accompanied by one of our most acclaimed local musicians Nick Tsiavos

Plus our usual, wonderful and very helpful open mic readers

Adrian Grima (Malta, 1968) has published prize-winning collections of poetry in Maltese that has been translated into sixteen languages. Book collections of his poetry have appeared in Italian, French, German, and English. He has read at festivals in the Mediterranean, Europe, Bali, and, most recently in Granada, Nicaragua. He has read with musicians playing jazz, classical, funk, and world music. He reads his work mainly in Maltese and English, but above all he is passionate about rhythm and the unpredictability of language. http://www.adriangrima.com

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Nick Tsiavos is a bassist and composer whose work operates at the intersections of a number of cultural boundaries: from 8th century chant to contemporary minimalism, from syncretic hybridisation to experimental improvisation, from church to pub to concert hall. Since 1994, Tsiavos has been developing new music for the solo bass. As an ‘ethnic’ musician he is interested in, and informed by, non-canonical discourse, while refusing the tokenism that ethnicity often entails. Tsiavos has performed as a bass soloist at various venues throughout Australia. As the group’s artistic director, Tsiavos has produced a dark and confronting examination of Medieval and Byzantine chant. His group Jouissance has toured internationally and throughout Australia. The rest you are also discovered on the day http://nicktsiavos.net

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Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of every month (except December and January) under the Federation Square and the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Contact details
Dimitris Troaditis
poetryfedsquare@gmail.com
troaditisdimitris@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/PoetryAtFedSquare
http://twitter.com/poetryfedsquare

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poetry@fedsquare – Saturday, 19 July 2014 – 2pm-4pm

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poetry@fedsquare

Saturday, 19 July 2014

2pm-4pm

Beer DeLuxe upstairs at Federation Square

With the so called boat people and the refugee issue remaining and still dominating the current social and politican arena in Australia we thought it would great to give a voice to those voiceless, that is those who put their lives in a huge risk, crossing wild seas and lots of dangers trying to escape hard economic and social conditions and also political and other similar harrasment and settle in a civilised country and put their life dreams in a motion again.

In 19 July we will feature young poet and activist Benjamin Solah and the group Writing Through Fences: Poets from within immigration detention through the launch of Through The Wire: writing from immigration detention.

BENJAMIN SOLAH is a writer of truth, fiction and poetry, a spoken word artist and political activist. He grew up in the suburbs of Western Sydney but now lives in Melbourne where he studies Creative Writing at RMIT University. Editor of MelbourneSpokenWord.com and a convener of Keep Left. His writing has appeared in Overland, The Emerging Writer, Geek Mook and various anthologies. He has also co-produced a spoken word EP with Santo Cazzati “Duel Power”. He has performed poetry and spoken word at Passionate Tongues, Dan O’Connell, Midsumma Festival and Keep Left. He has been a refugee activist since 2004 and a member of Refugee Action Collective (Victoria). His chap book “Broken Bodies” is a series of poetic snapshots concerned with the treatment of asylun seekers.

WRITING THROUGH FENCES (WTF) is a writing group primarily made up of people who are or have been directly affected by the Australian immigration industry. It was established in 2013 by Janet Galbraith. The name Writing Through Fences refers to the ability of writers and artists to reach beyond fences and walls that attempt to contain, define and silence them. The name also situates this group within the long colonial practices of division of country, of displacement and incarceration characteristic of Australia’s ongoing racist history. Writing Through Fences recognises that we live, create and are imprisoned on stolen lands.

Over the past eleven months the group has grown into a strong community of creativity and support. It has become a place of refuge for many. Writing and art-making is an enlivening process where the practitioners are able to define and re-create selves that reach beyond and before the current violences they are experiencing, asserting their different experiences, personalities, styles, histories and literary traditions.

You can find WTF’s work at http://thearrivalists.tumblr.com/. If you wish to support this group you can find Friends of Writing Through Fences at https://www.facebook.com/friendsofWTF

To contact Janet Galbraith: galbraith_janet@yahoo.com.au

We will have also our open mic readers.

Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of every month (except December and January) under the Federation Square and the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Contact details
Dimitris Troaditis
poetryfedsquare@gmail.com
troaditisdimitris@gmail.com
facebook http://www.facebook.com/PoetryAtFedSquare
twitter http://twitter.com/poetryfedsquare

Poetry@fedsquare – Saturday, 21 June 2014- Featuring Western Union Writers

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Poetry@fedsquare – Saturday, 21 June 2014 – 2-4pm

The Atrium Federation Square, Melbourne

Featuring Western Union Writers

Dear fellow poets and poetry lovers.
We are coming once again to our monthly appointment with you this time bringing WUW or Western Union Writers.

WUW have been meeting as a writing group in the western suburbs, mainly in Werribee for more than 25 years; one of the longest running groups with continuous members in Victoria, if not Australia. They have published several anthologies and have been featured in various reading events and literary festivals around Melbourne.

WUW’s aim is to support local writers and writing in the western suburbs, facilitate creative writing events and stimulate creative written and literary expression in the City of Wyndham community. Inclusive, they are a multicultural group, open to all fiction and non-fiction writers–poets, prose writers, novelists, historians, biographers, published, new and young writers.

Founders of the group, Kip Singh Chauli, Bronwen Hickman and Helen Cerne are still active as Secretary, Treasurer and Coordinator. Margaret Campbell facilitates the young writers group called Imagination Creation which continues to organise a writing competition for young writers throughout Australia and a published book with the winning entries annually.

We have the pleasure to feature three poets from WUW:

Helen Cerne, Margaret Campbell and Chris Ringrose

HELEN CERNE is a Melbourne writer whose stories and poems have appeared in Meanjin, Overland, The Age, the ABC, Hecate and other lit mags. A coordinator of Western Union Writers, a Werribee writers group, active in the local arts community and tutor at Victoria University, she has co-written and published a local history, a poetry collection Just Heart Work and a novel Those who Can’t. In 2007 she established Vanark Press for new local novelists. Her recent work explores women’s creativity, relationships and heterosexual artistic collaborations. Last year she completed a PhD writing a novel about Melbourne artists of 1940-50s

MARGARET CAMPBELL’s poetry and short stories have been published in literary magazines and newspapers in Australia and NZ. Her books include poetry, a young adult novel, a verse novel, a collection of stories and poetry and several oral histories including a volume of first person accounts recording migration to Werribee/Wyndham. She has won many writing awards and was a co-editor of Poetrix for its twenty years of publication.

CHRIS RINGROSE is a writer of fiction and poetry. He was born in East Yorkshire and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge. He has taught literature at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and at Monash University in Melbourne. Chris has lived in Williamstown since 2012, and is a member of Western Union Writers. He was the winner of the “People’s Choice” competition at the Williamstown Literary Festival in 2013.

Open mic readers from WUW will include, Bronwen Hickman, Richard Dove, Bernadette Smallwoood, Bridh Hancock, Janet Howie, Angela Murnane and Jonathan Griffiths.

Poetry@fedsquare is coming to you the third Saturday of every month (except December and January) under the Federation Square and the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Contact details
Dimitris Troaditis
poetryfedsquare@gmail.com
troaditisdimitris@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/PoetryAtFedSquare
http://twitter.com/poetryfedsquare

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