Tag Archives: Brisbane Poetry Open Mic events

clouds in another’s blood

SpeedPoets this Saturday (May 5) is shaping up to be one hell of a gig, with a feature set from one of its founding members, Rowan Donovan and a premiere reading by Nathan Shepherdson of his latest work, clouds in another’s blood.

clouds in another’s blood is published in a limited edition of 50 hand bound, concertina fold, artist books by local publisher, light-trap press and is a collaboration between Nathan and print maker, Julie Barratt. Nathan’s work has won many, many awards and I for one am incredibly excited about getting my hands on a copy of this new collection. Here’s a few words and images from the book to give you all a first taste…

and the ground

that is responsible

for this distance

is unable to remember trees

is held

under the clean pressure of snow


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Sex Times at SpeedPoets

This Sunday, November 6, is the last chance to get along to SpeedPoets before the long days of Summer set in.

It’s been a sparkling 10th year, with features from touring artists such as Matt Hetherington, James Waller and Santo Cazzati (Melbourne); local musicians including Baron Field, Primitive Motion, Ichabod’s Crane and Mardi Lumsden and some of our favourite local poets: Fern Thompsett, Phillip Ellis, Nathan Shepherdson, Rachael Briggs, Michelle Dicinoski and Carmen Keates.

And the final line-up for the year is another 3-way feature act that is bound to POP!

SpeedPoets regulars, Andrew Phillips and Michael Cohen will perform their debut feature sets alongside Brisbane art-rock fetishists, The Stress of Leisure, who will have their spanking new single, Sex Times available for the first time in 7″vinyl. So if you want to get sexy, SpeedPoets is the place to be!

And don’t forget to pack a poem in your pocket so that you can make your voice heard in Brisbane’s hottest Open Mic.

All the action kicks off at Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City – click here for a map) at 2pm and runs until 5pm. Entry is a gold coin donation and the monthly SpeedPoets Zine is free as a 2yr old in a shopping centre!

To get you in the mood, here’s a couple of clips of The Stress of Leisure teamed up with two of Brisbane’s finest poets, David Stavanger & Nathan Shepherdson. Get your dancing shoes on!

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Talking with Mardi Lumsden about poetry, lyrics & that Brisbane sound

After a mighty fine re-launch gig, SpeedPoets is gearing up to return to Brew on Sunday June 5 from 2pm – 5pm. Brisbane singer/songwriter, Mardi Lumsden will be bringing her sweet alt-folk stylings to the stage as our music feature, so I caught up with her to chat about the relationship between poetry & lyrics and the state of the Brisbane music scene. You can read the interview over at the SpeedPoets website.

SpeedPoets, Sunday June 5 from 2pm – 5pm at Brew, Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City.
Entry is a Gold Coin Donation. 
The venue has a strict capacity of 60 people, so make sure you are there early to get your seat in the room!


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SpeedPoets re-launches this Sunday

Brisbane’s longest running live poetry event, SpeedPoets, is re-launching this Sunday, May 1, at their brand new home Brew, located in Lower Burnett Lane in the heart of the City (check out a map here). As usual all the action starts at 2pm and to celebrate the move to our fifth home, we have invited three fine Brisbane ladies to take centre stage.

Singer/songwriter, Charity Carleton from Brisbane band, Ichabod’s Crane will perform songs from her band’s latest album, Honeydew. Head to their bandcamp site to listen to tracks from the album. And bringing the poetic noise are Carmen Leigh Keates and Michelle Dicinoski. Both Michelle and Carmen have recently been featued on the SpeedPoets Website, so you can head over there to get a hit of their words.

And let’s not forget, that you can be a part of SpeedPoets history… come along, pack a poem or two and sign up to get your slice of the spotlight in the Open Mic Section. There will also be live sounds from Sheish Money, raffles and giveaways and the free monthly zine will be there for the first 40 people through the door.

So spread the word… let’s make this one an afternoon to remember!

SpeedPoets Live @ Brew
Lower Burnett Lane, The City
2pm – 5pm
Entry is a gold coin donation

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SpeedPoets, Sunday October 3: feat. Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold

Well, I am heading off for the week to walk the city from my mind… and when I return, SpeedPoets will be kicking up a storm.

Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, SpeedPoets keeps fanning the flames of poetry at InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St, West End). October will feature spoken word dynamo and multiple Slam winner, Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold. The last time I saw Archie perform was at the Goolwa Poetry Festival where he popped a button in someone’s drink. It was very special!

Here’s a clip of Archie performing at the Lismore Poetry Cup:

There will also be the regular live sounds from Sheish Money, free zines, raffles/giveaways and the hottest Poetry Open Mic Section in town. So be sure to pack a poem or two in your pocket and get yourself heard!

SpeedPoets, Sunday October 3, 2:00pm – 5:30pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End


Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold

Entry is a gold coin donation


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SpeedPoets: Billy Jones + The Stress of Leisure

This Sunday June 6, SpeedPoets roll back into InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St West End) from 2pm boasting a double feature to make the sparks fly in your frontal lobe!

The poetry feature will be none other than one-time hermit-derelict-wildman, Billy Jones. Billy is an artist, poet and emotional expatriate born in Camden, New Jersey in 1935. In addition to his seven previously published poetry collections and numerous exhibitions, he has kept a journal of drawings, paintings and poetry every day since 28 June 1975. When asked about Jones’ work, fellow QLD legend Thomas Shapcott said, the mystical awareness of larger forces within the quotidian is what makes his work special … a remarkable record of a life spent simply, and deeply.

Here is a poem taken from his 2006 collection, Wren Lines (papertiger media – soi 3 modern poets) and one of his incredible images:

Paw Paw - Billy Jones, Wren Lines (soi 3 modern poets)

                                                                PURE LAND

                                                                frog in bathroom
                                                                sink as I brush teeth
                                                                in oval silky oak mirror
                                                                moves out of way
                                                                of gurgling tap
                                                                chrome green
                                                                with white belly
                                                                spatula suction cup
                                                                fingers & toes
                                                                cascade of fleeting streaks
                                                                in back of the eyes
                                                                skids into shaving bag
                                                                backs in slow peering out
                                                                must live in there
                                                                there goes my overnight bag
                                                                pure land of enchantment

                                                                what is a man
                                                                what is a treefrog
                                                                but this sudden curving
                                                                radiance behind the eyes

And approaching the mic softly will be Brisbane band, The Stress of Leisure. This will be an acoustic gig for the band, featuring Head-of-Leisure, Ian Powne and delightfully flamboyant keyboardist/singer, Pascalle Burton. And as a special treat they will be showcasing songs from their eagerly anticipated third album, The Soft Approach.

If you have not yet had the pleasure, check out the video to House and Garden from their second album Hour to Hour.

As always there will be two rounds of Open Mic, live sounds from Sheish Money, Raffles, Free Zines and for the second time, the SpeedPoets ‘Poetry Rummage Sale’. So make sure you come with some coins in your pocket to take home a bargain or three… all books will be $2 or under!

See you at InSpire this Sunday… Entry is a gold coin donation.


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Review of the April SpeedPoets gig

Benjamin Sawon who was one of the featured poets at last Sunday’s SpeedPoets gig has posted a review of the gig on his blog – A Load of Blog.

So head over and check it out and don’t forget that next month – Sunday May 2, will again boast two feature acts:

Creator of the legendary ‘gingatao narrative’, Paul Squires and to celebrate the release of their much anticipated debut album, Sheish Money and members of Namedropper, will also be playing an extended feature set, so lock the date in your diary and don’t forget to pack your poems… The Open Mic Wants You!

SpeedPoets, 2pm Sunday May 2 @ InSpire Gallery Bar
71 Vulture St West End

Paul Squires + Sheish Money & Namedropper


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Two poems by April SpeedPoets feature, Amanda Joy

Just a few more days until SpeedPoets rolls into Inspire Gallery Bar for our April event… so to get your poetry taste buds salivating here’s a couple of poems from one of our features, Perth based poet, Amanda Joy.

Amanda is a poet, sculptor, installation artist and songwriter born in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives, works and gardens in Fremantle and travels as often as she can. Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print such as Cottonmouth, Up The Staircase Literary Review, Killpoet, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Black Rider Press, Another Lost Shark, Heroin Love Songs, The Toronto Quarterly, Black Listed Magazine, Speedpoets and The Best Australian Poems 2009. She has a fascination with portals and conduits and every now and then she pops out a little limited edition illustrated chapbook for those who ask nicely. A tiny, yet sincere chapbook of her poetry, Not Enough To Fold was lovingly published through Verve Bath Press early this year. A more sizeable binding of her wordage, In Hand will be released in the U.S. in April. She blogs her poetry semi regularly at her website www.littleglasspen.com and www.myspace.com/amanda_joy1970.

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End. Entry is a gold coin donation.


Sliding Scale

There is an age where
a child will test everything
by putting it in their mouth
as if its taste held a secret

Before the shape of words
weighs down that
infinite tongue

I hold you in my mouth
read you like braille



                                         No One (In English)

                                                      A cat
                                                      with a live rat
                                                      in its mouth, in
                                                      the bedroom
                                                      at 3am

                                                      and you snatch it
                                                      in your hands
                                                      and throw it
                                                      from the balcony

                                                      suddenly, like
                                                      a magic trick

                                                      Looking behind
                                                      people’s eyes
                                                      I don’t meet

                                                      Surplus words,

                                                      for the most
                                                      important we have
                                                      only one

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The pleasure of a poem – an interview with Amanda Joy

It is the first Sunday of the month, and for this Lost Shark that means SpeedPoets, but as today is Easter Sunday, we have moved the gig back a week to let everyone enjoy the festivities. But believe me, it will be worth the wait, as the April SpeedPoets features sets from Benjamin Sawon and the lovely Amanda Joy. Here is a recent interview with Amanda and a couple of poems to carry you through until next Sunday… Hope to see many of you there…


Amanda, what pleasure does a poem bring?

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things was lifting up rocks to see what was underneath, I think a poem, whether I’m reading it or writing it gives me a similar sensation.

There’s a quote from Jean Baudrillard which I love which says something like, “Never resist a sentence you like, in which language takes its own pleasure and in which, after having abused it for so long, you are stupefied by its innocence.” I think language taking its own pleasure is quite a delicious idea also.
What are the themes you keep coming back to in your poetry?

I suppose anything that has given me a strong feeling or an intense moment in life is something I return to in my poetry, the desert, music, the ocean, relationships, other poems. Deleuze wrote some great stuff on poetry as sensation, Steiner in ‘The Arts and Their Mission’ wrote that meaning equals feeling. I suppose in a few ways that is Romantic with a capital R, and always a little bit beyond itself, but I also think that’s where my love of poetry squats, I want to keep striving for some primacy of image, of sensation, but all I get are these refractions.

Your MySpace blog and poetry blog Little Glass Pen both attract a large readership. How have you established such a strong online following? How do you see digital platforms such as blogs evolving in the future?

Ha! by accident and naivete originally. Three years ago I posted some poems on Myspace for my partner to read in Africa, without really thinking about the public forum it was in, someone read my blog and commented, I read someone else’s blog and commented, it was a viral thing. By the time I set up Little Glass Pen I had a really dedicated group of readers who had been encouraging me for a while, including Jon Sanders, a poet and pro basketball player who created the Poetry Blog Rankings site, which still directs a lot of new readers through to LGP.

I want to get back to using Twitter for my six word poems too, although I have the sense that I’m enjoying them more than anyone following yet.

I enjoy the egalitarian nature of blogging. I think anything that encourages people to get up & turn off the tv and write or paint or read or do anything creative has to be a good thing. It takes such a little bit of encouragement for most people to continue to create once they put something out there and elicit a response in someone. I try to respond to everyone who asks me to read their blog.

I really enjoy reading poetry or viewing blogs which are created specifically for this media, visual poems, audio recordings, even poems written simply with scrolling in mind make me smile. I will be curious to see how much more video and audio work appears online over time and in what forms they evolve.
We are honoured to have you as our feature poet for the April SpeedPoets event. How do you go about selecting poems for a reading? What makes a poem perform better in a live setting?

Jeez louweeze, the honour’s all mine and I can’t wait.

As for selecting poems, well, I’m learning a really simple thing and that’s to read what I enjoy reading (It seems to have a follow-on effect) and that clever tricks with enjambment and line breaks tend to trip me up rather than any one else when reading them aloud. I wish I was more disciplined when it comes to writing for spoken word.

I used to write a lot of songs and I think a split stemmed from that; if it sounded good it became a song, if not it became a poem. I’ve still not really padded around in that place between.

When I was in Belgium I went to a performance by a group of sound poets, which really excited me, just feeling the vibrations of the words, the air, gesture and the tone was a really profound sonic experience. I really enjoy listening to Gabby Everall read, Santo Cazzati is great too. I suppose its always exciting to hear a different rhythm or cadence, the way it revitalizes language.

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End


Amanda Joy + Benjamin Sawon

Entry is a gold coin donation



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SpeedPoets has a new home for 2010

SpeedPoets have packed up eight beautiful years of history in the New Farm/Fortitude Valley precinct and are heading on over to West End to make InSpire Gallery Bar their new home in 2010. InSpire is already the home of Poetry Smack which runs every second Tuesday from 7:30pm and was the venue for the last Small Change Press launch, so it is no stranger to the live poetry scene…

To kick off the 2010 year, SpeedPoets are hosting the official launch of the exciting Brisbane New Voices chapbook featuring Jonathan Hadwen (Night Swim) and Fiona Privitera (Peep Show). And as always there will be music from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, giveaways/raffles and plenty of space for you to breathe life into your words in Brisbane’s hottest Open Mic section.

The first gig of the year will be held on Sunday March 7 with doors opening at 2pm – along with Open Mic sign up – and the live action starting at 2:30pm. So make sure you are there to bring in the new era and christen the new venue as the 2010 year takes off!

InSpire Gallery Bar is located at 71 Vulture St. West End… and we are looking forward to calling it home!

SpeedPoets, Sunday March 7, 2:00pm – 5:00pm @ InSpire Gallery Bar, 71 Vulture St. West End


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