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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.

Hares & Hyenas will be our bookseller for this event.


Anne-Marie Te Whiu

Anne-Marie Te Whiu is a Māori-Australian writer, weaver, producer and editor – Solid Air: Australia and New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP) and Whisper Songs (UQP). Her writing has been published in Ora Nui, Te Whē, Sport, Cordite, Rabbit, among others. ... Read more

David Stavanger

David Stavanger is an Australian poet, performer, cultural producer, editor and lapsed psychologist. His first full-length poetry collection The Special (UQP) was awarded the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. David is the co-editor of ... Read more


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 worked as a draughtsman for forty years to support his art. He is currently editor of the experimental magazine ... Read more


Laniyuk is a writer and performer of poetry and short memoir. She contributed to the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives in 2015, has been published online in Djed Press and the Lifted Brow, as well as in poetry collections such as Solid Air (UQP 2019). She received Canbe... Read more

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. She teaches i... Read more


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 ... Read more


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 fa... Read more

Eco!Slam 2019 Winners

Upani Perera, Zhoujing Chu, Neha De Alwis and Ruth Jarra are Year 11 students from Nossal High School who had the opportunity to compete in the 2019 Eco!Slam Poetry Competition. Coming in with only a tentative interest and vague idea of the workings of slam poetry, the four girls performed their po... Read more


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