Friday, April 6, 2012

VOICES OF AOTEAROA: a Sweetalkers special event - Easter Sunday 2PM


Tomorrow’s Sweetalkers will be a unique experience for us all, never before has there been such a large roster of featured performers in one gig, each and all New Zealand-bred visitors to the Melbourne poetry scene.

Now even though they come as a group, I promise you the combination of these eight individuals will remain every bit as diverse and complimentary a-line up as you’ve come to expect from my programming at Sweetalkers. So let's specific about what came over the Pacific, or uh, Tasman:


Michael Rudd is Ngati Pakeha New Zealander of Aotearoa, described as an 'oralist' and performance poet, he is also developing his enjoyment of sound poetry, voice and words as an instrument and all that. Also enjoys creating/performing improv poetry
Like fatherhood he was a late starter in poetry, and for both he is thankful.

His hobbies include producing poetry/spoken word gigs, which he done so for many years both sides of the Tasman, most recent been the 1st NZ Poetry Slam in late 2011
Michael has performed and promoted poetry on television, radio, on the street, in bars, trains, buses, prison and a lot of places in between.


Zane is a NZ Maori (Ngapuhi) raised in Auckland City, father and husband, a youth-worker of sorts, and a member of the South Auckland Poets Collective, a strong collective of poets that brings to voice the urban Pacific and Maori experience, using the power of poetry and spoken word. Zane placed 3rd at the 1st New Zealand Poetry Slam held in Wellington, October 2011.

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)


After performing her poetry live one fateful night at a bar in Saskatoon, Canada, Ali caught the spoken word bug. Her poetry is inspired by people, landscapes and cultures encountered on the road, exploring themes of politics, sexuality, social and environmental justice and the madness of these crazy times.
Having travelled extensively across Canada and Europe, before moving back home to NZ where she runs the monthly poetry series Poetry in Motion in Wellington. Ali scored 2nd place in both the Going West Writer’s Festival Poetry Slam in Auckland, and in New Zealand’s inaugural National Poetry Slam.

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)

Ali has just completed her first chapbook, which will be on sale at Sweetalkers for $12.


Brad started performance poetry at a competition called ‘Poetry Idol’ in 2009. After two years overseas writing absolutely no poetry at all, in 2011 he began again managing to take the top prizes at both the Going West Poetry Slam in Auckland and the New Zealand Poetry Slam in Wellington. Brad ekes out a living as an actor and internet copywriter and lives in Auckland with his lovely fiancée, Nancy Kniveton.

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)


A lover of the arts, based in Otara, she refers to her poetry as mental notes learning how to speak. she writes of imagination, her life in south Auckland and her family. A member of the South Auckland Poets Collective, Clara recently moved to Melbourne...
(so hopefully we'll see more of her after this, if you guys are nice and stuff)

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)


has been a youth development worker for Youthline for 7 years. He is passionate about hearing people's stories and experiences which lead to him to South Auckland Poets Collective, of which he is an active member. His poetry is written with the intent to provoke thoughts and reactions in audience. Dietrich has written pieces about Faith, finding love and the want to 'Sky Dive' through life (see YouTube below for more on that)

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)


This Canadian born Spanish-American considers New Zealand home, as a ‘kiwi-bred’ universal citizen. Michelle has spent her life all over the world, scribbling about her experiences since she was able to hold a pen.
Michelle is a fledgling performance poet, who has been published in “Blackmail Press issue 14” and the “NZ Poetry.Org -Winter Edition”. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry entitled “Wheel of the World”. When she’s not hosting spoken word events like LIVE the “Library Bar”, Michelle spends her time raising her 3 kids and trying to complete a second collection of poetry.

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)

...with special guest: TOURETTES

Hi I’m Tourettes, I like rapping, poetry and playing the drums. I write about politics, love and diseases. I’m in a crew called Breakin wreckwordz. We’re pretty good.
Here’s a list of things I’ve done that make my Mum proud:
• Won the national emcee battle title and came second in Australasia
• Released two albums- “the misadventures of Johnny Favourite” and “Gimme Five Dollars and I'll Show You My Dick!”
• Toured New Zealand, Australia, Europe, England and Japan
• Won heaps of poetry slams
• Supported international bands like Dizzie Rascal, Atmosphere and Sage Francis
• Had writing published in various publications including Landfall
• Got heaps of ugly tattoos
At the moment I’m trying to find the best medium to get the voices out of my head and into yours. That’s all. Peace

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)

...and your host MC: RANDALL STEPHENS

For me personally, this Sweetalkers brings my poetry life full circle, being able to host so many fine artists from my homeland, and completing a circuit begun when I toured New Zealand for two months early last year. Some of these folks, I met and heard perform back then, others I’m excitedly waiting to hear for the first time live tomorrow, and as MC I’ll be peppering the afternoon with a few of my own poems from that tour. Speaking of that tour:

(If you are not seeing a playable window click here for a direct YouTube link)

...and yeah, as some of you may also know, this will be the last regular Sweetalkers gig for a little while, so it's kinda fitting to be back at the ol' Bendigo Hotel one last time. Please note it's 2pm in the afternoon.

So come along, buy me a beer and help me pack up some chairs afterwards. Cheers

Sunday April 8th 2PM
The Bendigo Hotel
125 Johnston Street, Collingwood

$10 entry




1 comment:

msdebbie said...

Sounds like it will be a great gig Randall! Wish I could be there, but instead, please feel the big love and laughter I'm sending from Brisbane :D