Monday, February 18, 2013

Multicultural Fringe Festival

Last weekend, I performed as part of the MultiFRINGE 9.2.13 at the National Multicultural Festival. Myself and three other poets put on an hour-long performance to a great audience on the Sour Cherry stage.

Tasnim Hossain

Tasnim Hossain
Tasnim opened with some beautiful poems which reflect her cultural background but have a distinctively Australian vibe. Her last poem was the best. Starting with a disclaimer for her mother ('this is fictitious'), Tasnim spoke of mixed-culture relationships and the beautiful babies they produce.

Tasnim doesn't have any of her work online at the moment (that I can see, anyway). If I find some, I will let you know. In the meantime, you will have to seek her out at one of her appearances around Canberra.

Will Small

At the risk of sounding condescending, I think Will's poetry has matured considerably since I last heard him perform (which was a couple of years ago). I loved the pieces he performed for the MultiFRINGE. He presented his socially-conscious observations in his confident rap-based style.
Will Small

I particularly liked O Southern Cross, a poem that discusses symbols and encourages us to treat them as catalysts for thought rather than rallying points for hubris.

Will has competed on the Australian Poetry Slam national finals stage before and currently runs the ANU Voice Poetry Slam for secondary public school students. The link here contains information for 2012, but I believe it will be running again in 2013 as an ACT Centenary event.

Omar Musa

I don't think I need to say much about Omar. He rocked, as he does, with some classics (My Generation and Queanbeyan) and a couple of poems I hadn't heard before. Omar is currently completing his latest poetry collection, Parang, which he will be launching in Canberra at the Electric Shadows Bookshop on 13 March (Facebook event link here).

Being the rockstar he is, Omar then dashed off to perform on stage with The Last Kinection.

CJ Bowerbird

I had a great time performing five poems. I started with one that, I hope, reflected themes in the poetry of all four of us: inclusiveness and openness. I noticed that each of us, in our own style, performed poems that invited people in and created a space in which anyone can celebrate our humanity. I included the closest I have to environmental and political poems. In the middle, I performed two poems that reveal snippets of my personality.

Here is the set list:

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