Group Texts

View all events in this series

at The Wheeler CentreBook your tickets

Solid Air: Australian Spoken Word Poetry

If poetry is enjoying a resurgence of interest right now, it's partly because spoken word has given the whole art form a powerful shot in the arm, on both the stage and the page. 

What's driving this renewed energy, and how are artists blending (and bending) genres and art forms? What are the links between music, spoken word and resistance? And how is the latest upswell of interest linked to First Nations storytelling and the groundbreaking spoken word movements of the past? 

Hosted by Anne-Marie Te Whiu and David Stavanger, editors of the new anthology Solid Air: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word, our third Group Texts event will feature electrifying local performers and practitioners of spoken word. Join us for an evening of conversation and performance.


Portrait of Anne-Marie Te Whiu

Anne-Marie Te Whiu

Anne-Marie Te Whiu is an experienced cultural producer, editor and theatre practitioner, as well as an emerging Māori-Australian poet & weaver. She co-directed Queensland Poetry Festival and is the co-editor of the anthology Solid Air: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019).

Portrait of David Stavanger

David Stavanger

David Stavanger is an award-winning poet, performer, cultural producer, editor and lapsed psychologist. He is the author of The Special (UQP, 2014) and co-editor of the anthology Solid Air: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019). He is also known as Green Room-nominated spoken weird artist Ghostboy.

Portrait of PiO


π.O. is a legendary figure in the Australian poetry scene, born and bred in Fitzroy, the great chronicler of Melbourne and its culture and migrations, a highly disciplined anarchist who has worked as a draughtsman for forty years to support his art. He is the publisher of Collective Effort Press, a long-time magazine editor, a pioneer of performance poetry in Australia and the author of many collections, including Panash, Fitzroy Poems, Big Numbers: New and Selected Poems, and the two epic works 24 Hours and Fitzroy: The BiographyHeide completes this project.

Portrait of Laniyuk


Laniyuk was born of a French mother and a Larrakia, Kungarrakan and Gurindji father. She was fortunate enough to contribute to the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives as well as winning the Indigenous residency for Canberra's Noted Writers Festival 2017 and Overland’s Writers Residency for 2018.


Portrait of Emilie Zoey Baker

Emilie Zoey Baker

Emilie Zoey Baker is an award-winning poet, teacher and spoken-word performer who has toured internationally. She was a fellow at the State Library of Victoria, coordinator of the Australian National Slam, and was core faculty for the spoken word program at Canada's Banff Centre.

Portrait of Joelistics


Joelistics’ great gift is the crafting of common language into evocative turns of phrase. As a rapper, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor and advocate for diversity, he is recognised as a unique voice in the Australian music scene from his early seminal work with alt rap group TZU to working as a solo artist to the critically acclaimed theatre show In Between Two.

Portrait of Fury


Bjork once said 'you shouldn’t let poets lie to you', but Fury writes poetry, which is a sort of lie, albeit the fun-for-everyone kind. Fury has written a book called I Don’t Understand How Emotions Work. It is a very good book; soft and tricky, like leaning your face against your favourite swan.

How much?

This is a free event. Bookings are essential. We recommend arriving early to secure your seat. Read our ticketing FAQs here.Book your tickets

Group Texts

Group Texts is a new Wheeler Centre mini-series spotlighting excellent Australian genre writers. Each season, we'll zero in on a different category of popular fiction. Hear reflections and provocations on key issues and ideas about your favourite genre. Romance junkies, fantasy freaks, crime fiends, YA addicts – these talks are for you.  


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.