Melbourne Spoken Word presents a sampler of Melbourne’s eclectic spoken word community, with writers who use the power of their voice and performance to highlight their words.
Melbourne Spoken Word has been supporting and developing the local spoken word scene for over five years, touring international slam poets, running workshops and supporting grassroots poetry and spoken word events. Featuring Ian McBryde, Morgaine van Wingerden, Sahida Apsara and Rhiann Isaacs.
Presenting this event and also performing is spoken word artist and curator, Benjamin Solah.
Benjamin is the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word and the slam master of Slamalamadingdong.
His work has appeared in Cordite, Overland, Going Down Swinging, and performed around Melbourne’s spoken word scene, as well as touring Texas in 2017 and featured at The Bowery Poetry Club in 2018.
Sahida Apsara is an Australian poet, singer-songwriter, dancer and arts educator.
Born in Singapore, with half Indian/half Malay background, Sahida travelled the world from the age of 20 before settling in Australia 7 years later. Since then, she has established herself in the arts community, receiving the Victorian Government Multicultural Award for Excellence for her work in community-building through the arts. She founded a fundraising initiative supporting disenfranchised women locally and worldwide and has curated several all-female poetry event in Melbourne.
Sahida has studied Indian classical dance and was also the recipient of the UNESCO grant in New York for poetry-making.
Most recently, she has teamed up with husband DUBFX to create a music album and spends most her time playing with her baby girl.
Canadian-born Ian McBryde has practiced in a number of mediums including photography, music, illustration and, predominately, poetry.
In 2005, Ian’s fourth collection, ‘Domain’ (Five Islands Press), was shortlisted for The Age Poetry Book of the Year. In 2010, Ian’s sixth collection of poetry, ‘The Adoption Order’ (Five Islands Press), was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Prize.
Last year, McBryde’s ‘We the Mapless: New and Selected Poems’ was published by Brisbane’s Bareknuckle Press.
Rhiann Isaacs is an outspoken Afro-Guyanese poet that has nurtured a love for words and storytelling from a young age. Rhiann’s pieces are explorative narratives that mainly centre around identity, Pan-African issues and mental health.
As a rising artist, she brings energy and passion to the stage as she treats each poem as living art pieces that deserve to take up space. Expect transparency and straight forward expression from beginning to end.