Tag Archives: SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

And the SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion for 2012 is…

Before I rush in and announce it, let me first say that today was a reminder of why the SpeedPoets engine has been running for 12 years… the sense of community was overwhelming and each of the Call-Back-Poets kept the poetry bar set high.

This made the judges – Darkwing Dubs, mr oCean & Stuart Cooke – job incredibly difficult, but a decision was made and the announcement sent a roar of approval through the venue.

Sharing the runner-up prize of $100 was Carmen Leigh Keates & Chloe Callistemon and taking out the $200 cash prize with a set that popped with images of family life and the meandering Bulimba Creek, was Andrew Phillips. It’s been a massive year for Andrew. He released his debut collection (with Tiggy Johnson), That Zero Year, performed at QPF and has now taken out the title of SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks for a feature on Andrew, but for now, here are three links for you to enjoy more of his work:

Link 1: Andrew’s feature poem on SpeedPoets from July
Link 2: Andrew’s feature poem on Another Lost Shark
Link 3: Andrew’s blog

Let me close by saying a big thank you to everyone who has come along to a SpeedPoets event this (or any other) year. Without you, there is no SpeedPoets. And to Sheish Money & Giselle. We wouldn’t sound half as good without you!


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #7: Jo Brooks

I am now officially counting down to next Sunday’s (November 4) SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships. It’s been another incredible year and I have no doubt, the 8 poets who were ‘called back’ will be breathing their finest into the mic when there name is called. So let me introduce you to another one of these poets, Jo Brooks.

If we are to mark the passing of
This Precious Life
Do not invoke
a minute’s silence
That time would turn
hearts into clocks,
beats, breaths, debts, receipts
But I cannot commemorate
in peace and sterile quiet
Though some may seek comfort
in the circumference
Some may find control
in measured emotion but
it is not commensurate
with the chaos and commotion
of those last unholy moments
belief, doubt, depth, reprieve
and these silent seconds
are no communion
For I know
This one did not go quietly


Jo Brooks doesn’t like to talk about herself in the third person. If you’d like to hear her fumble through a first-person introduction, head to http://speedpoets.com/2012/03/17/march-call-back-poet-jo-brooks/


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #6: Cameron Logan

Known to some as ‘The Maximalist’, Cameron Logan has been delivering performances that combine science, surrealism and a razor wit on stages from Bellingen to Brisbane. He has poured his wordy concoctions into the ears of SpeedPoets’ audiences for several years now, and will be bound to deliver a set of Shakespearean proportions when he hits the stage in November as part of the 2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships.

Mental Health Warning

Mental health warning: Discontent is bad for you.
Discontent will fuck you up like syphilis.
Reality check bounces to the forlorn beat
of a broken man
and I, can
only plead indifference.
Bled out, and blinkered
from trivial things, like
and sudden onset protest voting syndrome.
Lazy nights of high-brow banter, G and T and fair-weather philanthropy will not. Save. Anyone.
Mental health warning: National calamity may cause everyone to become an expert on everything.
If you can’t wax lyrical about climate change and public assets then what… Good… Are you
To listen… to the bickering of colleagues and wonder if you could EVER stop caring,
COULD EVER ATTAIN a sense of peace that transcends anthropological footnotes, that,
breaks free from restraints man-made and theocentric.
A severance.
From killjoy Nietzsche and dime-store nihilism,
wrathful God and vengeful Dawkins,
And I
Can’t even consider prayer.
Medicate yourself with culture,
And break even with those around you.
Swing, gently swing and roll with the clear night sky
that beats out the benevolent rhythm of joy and, shallow contentment,
Faster now, FASTER,
CLIMAXING guitars and jazzy violins as the night wears on with youthful screams of
atonal ecstasy and gay abandon.
For those… who find one another. No more
No less
To feel the arsenic kiss of outrageous fortune as she envelops you in a cloud of delicious discontent,
Salute the setting sun!
Salute the drunken clergy!
Salute the revelers, the entourage, the sacred prostitutes who ply their wares behind stained glass to the rhythmof Gershwin’s Rhapsody.
Look upon creation.
And see.
That it’s mostly good.


Cameron is a hybrid of farm labourer and perpetual arts degree monkey. He enjoys slam poetry, page poetry and most garden varieties of spoken word. He likes long walks across arctic tundra and shouting at people in cafes. In his spare time he tries to think of the least original thought in the world.


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #5: Andrew Phillips

It’s been such a massive couple of days… first up, I want to thank everyone who was there to celebrate the launch of The First 30 and other poems on Sunday. I was overwhelmed by the turn out and the love in the room was especially big. Reading those poems to the backdrop of babies chattering and kids playing was such a thrill. I will be posting Nathan Shepherdson’s launch speech and some photos later in the week, so will share a few more of my thoughts on the event then. Right now, I want to share some words from SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #5, Andrew Phillips. Andrew is the co-author (with Tiggy Johnson) of That Zero Year, a collection I was privileged to write a blurb for. This is how I summed it up:

From the sudden weight of Thirteen weeks to the biting complaints of Fishing, That zero year screams with joy. These poems form a dialogue of love and loss; unpicking stitches in the family weave to welcome us to the bedside table of these most private moments. Here, we witness breath-taking devastation – the missing knee in the chest, the remembered rub of a belly – and wide-eyed wonder – a smile wriggled through to the toes. That zero year is an unflinching celebration of breath and blood. Phillips and Johnson know what it is to be alive and we are richer for it.

It was wonderful to have Andrew read at the launch of The First 30 on Sunday, so to feature his words here, is again, a  real pleasure.

moment, for a currawong

too heavy for air
between cathedral roots
of a black booyong
wing bent back
it floats in the decomposing leaves

its expression; noble
as the way it stood
in suit jacket
yellow eye
to the forest workers
who will massage
 everything back to soil


Andrew Phillips grew up surfing, rock climbing, scrambling through rainforest in South East Queensland and never ever read poetry.  ‘It must be some kind of bug bite on a steep traverse through a council library.’ In 2012 he performed at the Qld Poetry Festival and launched ‘That zero year‘.


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #4: Nicola Scholes

It’s Friday night, time to chase the light, so before I drift off into the blustery Brisbane night, here’s the 4th poet in the SpeedPoets Call-Back series, author of Dear Rose, Nicola Scholes. Nicola has been a regular SpeedPoets contributor now for many years, so it is an absolute pleasure to be sharing her words.

Aniseed Balls (I Wish to Resign…)

I wish to resign from my position of slavery and subservience

I wish to resign from the 24-hour factory turnaround cogs in the brain

I wish to resign from hungry stomachs starved spirits drained drudgery

I wish to resign from a partitioned life, computers printers faxes photocopiers are not made out of grass, and it’s no fun running round them

I wish to resign from this machine angst: the toner has run out, it’s as thin as my blood, the printer is out of paper, it’s as empty as my head aches need paracetamol the air is conditional, the stapler has cracked its last

Do not worry about me, I will go like Bartleby to my grave besides I’ve still got a filing system at home, I’m going to clip my winged articles

Goodbye to the paper moon and the cardboard stars I have cut you out for too long

Don’t ask me to flex my muscles under your corporate clock

I’m giving you my notice now—21 days I’ll expect some fuss, a morning tea, don’t disappoint your clients

It’s no good paying me when you spend it too

Don’t try to intimidate me with your red-necked fluffed up self-importance

Don’t cock-a-doodle-do down my neck: you’re too late, at the end of the day it’s just one of those things

I won’t lose sleep, run up and down steps for you, I won’t speed on the highway for you, miss my breakfast for you, this is the ugliness we’ve created lethargic prisoners numbed by re-runs, smiles, words, thoughts, movements, (how many times have I scaled this carpet?), burning off steam on the wheel of ambition, counting the dollars, editing our emotions, ticking off our lives, saving our energies for some day—is the weekend really as fantastic as we hope it will be every Friday afternoon, running out of the offices, satchels flying…

Somewhere—we know—the faxes are left on.  Our fates are being printed out in a perfect typograph, and all the yellow rejects will fill the bins on Monday.


Nicola Scholes is the author of Dear Rose, which won the 2009 “Dreams Ain’t Broken” Small Change Press Chapbook Competition. Nicola’s poems have also been published in various anthologies, books, magazines, and journals, including The Australian Library Journal, The Broadkill Review (USA), Cordite Poetry Review, Finger, Forge (USA/UK), Hecate, Hibiscus and Ti-Tree: Women in Queensland (Hecate Press, 2009), holland1945, Page Seventeen, Poems in Perspex: Max Harris Poetry Award 2007 (Lythrum Press, 2008), Social Alternatives, Stylus Poetry Journal, and Verity La. Nicola performed at Queensland Poetry Festival in 2011, 2009, and 2008, and has also been an actor in Brisbane community theatre. She has published two articles on Beat poet Allen Ginsberg as a part of her current PhD research: “Adapting Kali: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Stotras to Kali Destroyer of Illusions” in U.S. Studies Online, and “The Difficulty of Reading Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish Suspiciously” in M/C Journal.


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #3: Carmen Leigh Keates

Just back from a great new Poetry Open Mic gig at Little Prince Espresso and feeling very lucky to live in this city. For those keen to fill their ears with words, the next gig there is scheduled for Thursday November 15.

And of course there is SpeedPoets on Sunday November 4. One of the many features at the gig will be Carmen Leigh Keates. Carmen has had a big year, publishing her first collection, One Broken Knife as part of Brisbane New Voices III, featuring at Riverbend Books and QLD Poetry Festival and being the Call Back Poet at the April SpeedPoets gig. She is currently writing a series of poems about Russian Filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, so I thought I would share one of these works:

Flocks of Eider
(Watching Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev.)

When it snows
in the cathedral the snow is
feathers. Some say
it is an embarrassing oversight
while others think this is
poplar fluff floating by to
subtly mark a change in season.

Maybe it is flocks of eider
gliding overhead where
the frescos used to be.

Or ectoplasm streaming
like bandages in the wake
of the ghost of Theophanes.

Perhaps the film is actually
on the sea bed and the sky
is the water’s surface refracting
all Russianness into a kind of
woven papyrus of light
from which our Kirill reads
in his mysterious hood

and from his mouth the bubbles
need no translation for us to recognise

incapacitating self-suspicion.

(for those of you keen to check out the film, you can watch it free online here)


Carmen Leigh Keates was born in Brisbane. Her verse novella, Second-Hand Attack Dog, was commended in the 2011 Alec Bolton Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript, and her poem ‘One Broken Knife‘ was commended in the 2010 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize. Carmen is undertaking her PhD candidature at the University of Queensland, for which she is writing poetry about the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com


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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #2: Chloe Callistemon

Tonight it is my pleasure to introduce, Chloë Callistemon.  Chloë was ‘Called-Back’ in August by the 2012 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, a.rawlings after she delivered an assured reading of her poem, Monstera. She has been a SpeedPoets regular for the past couple of years, so it will be good to hear her stretch out and perform a set at the November gig on. Here’s a burst of Chloë’s words to make your night sing.


a child
is built with a house
as red earth is levelled
heart beats
with the squeeze
of earth pressed into bricks
against concrete-hardened
calloused hands
as walls rise to rooms
until spring breaks
in a swarm of fireflies
as the house pauses
to watch a comet

into the world
into the bones of a house
to the sound
of mattocks on stone
in sawdust
filling the cracks
up slate steps
to blinding sky
into wet concrete
each foot and hand and knee
pressing this earth
a home


Chloë Callistemon can be found more often behind a camera than a mic but occasionally puts away her lenses and pulls words instead. Her writing can be found in odd corners and folds and she is quite chuffed to be amongst some wonderful poets part of a project genuinely trying to do something — Harry Owen’s upcoming anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World. Follow the project or help at: http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com/


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com



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SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #1: Marisa Allen

Last week was QLD Writers Week, and though it has come and gone, I am still celebrating! Throughout this week, I plan to showcase some of the poets who will take the stage as part of the SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships on Sunday November 4 at Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City, 2:30pm – 5pm). Each of these poets was ‘called back’ to perform again at the end of an event as a result of their startling performance. So let’s kick things off by showcasing the work of Marisa Allen (aka Bremen Town Musician).

if i was a Buddhist i would tell you there is no shame in sorrow

retangle the light
i dig ditches into your confused pulse, become dust in the red eye of a flare.
the wayward chase of a burning blaze will deny pathway’s illuminated by a skittish dawn. pull down (from the sky, home of gods and harpies) the great thunderous hammer, with which we drove oak nail’s fashioned from sticks into fence post’s for a corpses tunnel.
the wreckage of a pulsar is scattered points.

sliver of heart muscles molten centre.
shaking – shivering – strobing in slipvision
wrung from the flesh heated oil from fine cuts of fat delay it’s thumping echo make a marshland of thickened solar ash, disturbed by solar wind
scattering the stuttered debris after the blast, splintered fragile honeybones decaying in a workman’s midday slump.
forces that made you leap towards brilliantine air stopped the beat forever. we stayed at this end place. adrift in time. full to the brim of sorrows. glistening. exposed. without a place to rest.


Marisa is a multi disciplinary artist working in words, sound and visuals who has performed nationally and abroad. Her sublime and visually illustrative poetry performances have appeared at the 2007 , 2009 and 2011 Queensland Poetry Festival and the 2011 Brisbane Festival Under the Radar, combining experimental sound works with spoken word. She was a Woodford ‘Wordfood Slam’ finalist (‘07/08) and has also performed at the Village Festival in Yeppoon QLD (’08) and the Riverbend Poetry Series readings (’10) in Brisbane.

Her chapbook ‘Fire in the Head selected works 1995 – 2006’ is published through Outsiders press, edited by David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger. Published in Going Down Swinging, Cottonmouth, Speedpoets Zine and Outsiders.

Along with poetry she has collaborated in live spoken word and recordings with violin for Shane Koyczan (QPF ‘07). Marisa is the front woman for the Qmusic award nominated avant folk, experimental blues act Bremen Town Musician as violinist, vocalist and songwriter and the band performed at QPF 2009 & 2012. She has toured throughout the United States as violinist to American/ Icelandic country folk act The Foghorns (’07) and has performed solo at SpeedPoets, Outsiders and various venues throughout Queensland since 2005.


2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships

Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com

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SpeedPoets Open Mic Championship this Sunday

While Brisbane is in the midst of festival fever, SpeedPoets keeps things hot, hosting its annual Open Mic Championships at InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St, West End) this Sunday September 5. And to make the afternoon extra special, there are three interstate feature acts, that you don’t want to miss!

Fresh from her appearance at QLD Poetry Festival, Tiggy Johnson will perform a feature set alongside fellow Melbournite, Randall Stephens. And to round out the southern trio, the delightful Andy White will make a special appearance playing a set of songs and poems; his first performance in Brisbane in more than 2 years. Here’s a quick taste of Andy’s work:

There will also be the regular live sounds from Sheish Money, free zines, raffles/giveaways and much, much more!

The Open Mic Championship Rules are:

1.  Sign on for the SpeedPoets Open Mic Competition will commence at 2pm and cease at 2:30pm

2. Each poet will be given 3mins to perform/read one poem (without musical accompaniment or props).

3. Each poem read must be the original work of the poet.

4. Two judges will be selected to choose a shortlist of at least 5 poets for the second round

5. Poets selected for the second will be given another 3mins to perform a second poem. This poem cannot be the poem they performed in the first round and again, must be their own original work.

6. A winner and runner up will be selected by the judges from the second round performances.

7. The winner will receive $100 and the runner up $50, with a range of book prizes to be presented to commended performances.

(NB. Judges decisions on the day will be final and no further corresspondence will be entered into)

So start fine tuning your poems and your performance! Doors open at 2pm – along with sign up for the Open Mic Competition.

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


Tiggy Johnson, Randall Stephens & Andy White


2010 SpeedPoets Open Mic Competition

Entry is a gold coin donation

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SpeedPoets & other Brisbane Poetry Gigs

SpeedPoets Logo


Don’t forget that SpeedPoets takes over The Alibi Room tomorrow for their annual Open Mic Championships… should be a great afternoon. Check out all the details tomorrow as well as lots of other upcoming gigs.

Sunday August 2
This is the big one folks! SpeedPoets fires up for its yearly Open Mic Championships, so make sure you are at The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St, New Farm) from 2pm to put your name down to be in the running for some cool prizes including $100 first place, $50 second place + a whole range of giveaways. But most importantly, we want you there to share the spoken word love.
The rules of engagement are simple:
* There are 20 places available in the Open Mic Championships
* Sign on will take place at The Alibi Room between 2:00pm – 2:30pm or until the 20 places are filled
* Each poem read/performed must be the poet’s original work
* Each poet has 3 minutes to read/perform their poem (one poem only)
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* The poet may not use props or musical accompaniment.
* 5 poets will be selected to read in a second round
* Poets selected for the second round will be allocated 6 minutes to read two (2) poems
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* Judges will then select a first and second place (with prizes for the runners up)
Please note: these rules may be changed at the organisers discretion and judges decision is final. No discussion will be entered into.
And to add to the fun, our monthly riff generator, Sheish Money will be bringing some friends from his band Namedropper along to play a set of songs from their forthcoming CD.
As always there will be free zines and the monthly raffle. Entry is a gold coin donation. Don’t miss it!!!
SpeedPoets, 2pm Sunday August 2, The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St New Farm)
Thursday August 6
Put some poems in your pocket and head on over to Cafe Checoco (Hardgrave Rd West End) for Poetry Soup. Plenty of Open Mic and jamming opportunities for all comers! The gig kicks off at 7:30pm and is a free event.
Wednesday August 19

ouTsideRs cordially invite you to THE SUITS


 ‘One of the most bizarre and brilliant live music events Brisbane is likely to witness this year.’ ouTsideRs Time Off review 

‘An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.’ Oscar Wilde 

Following on from blowing Hunter’s Ghost at The Globe, Beau Brummel’s beckoning you to get your best suit on (bathing/business/birth/track, what have you) and get ready to kiss buttons as we present our second MASSIVE ouTsideRs show of 2009, stuffing David Byrne shoulder pads and Poetry Slam into the Ladies’ Lounge that is The Troubadour. Funded by the fine croupiers’ pockets via the Gambling Casino Benefit Fund, this night will be a three-piece American box cut with the best BrisVegas wordsmiths venting their hearts and words on lapels for all to wear and hear! 

Featuring track-suited drop six house band & their John Butler award winning hip-hop soul Impossible Odds,  the contemporary double breasted chicanery of MAJIK BOX and QLD slam spoken weird suit-master of ceremonies Ghostboy with well groomed word mannequins  Tessa Leon & Pascalle Burton….plus the usual ouTsideRs dandy madness! 

And this show sees the start of the Australian Poetry Slam presented by The State Library of QLD –  in true two-tone style, tailored lines and all. Two minutes to “hit The Troubadour mike and let the words take flight” as part of Australia’s biggest spoken word competition – where the audience is the judge! It’s a Rat Race, the first 20 to sign up on the night will compete. For full event & slam details head to: www.slq.qld.gov.au/poetryslam

ouTsideRs/Australian Poetry Slam Heat 1
The Troubadour
Wed 19th August
8pm doors / 8:30pm start
$5 entry / prizes for best use of a tie… Suits you, Sir, oooh!


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