Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caught on Cam: A Smorgasbord of Spoken Word Poetry

It takes a lot of discipline to update one's blog religiously. Clearly, I do not have this discipline. Still, it'll be a shame not to document all the pretty HUGE things that have happened in the past, let me see, 3 months?
Rhymes for Mending Hearts (click here to buy!)
Senyum lebar was the only thing to do that day
It took me 10 years and a bucketful of guts to agree to this. I am glad I did. Rhymes for Mending Hearts feels like a good start to a work in progress (points to self). It's almost cathartic, in a way. All that burden that led to the poems being written. Now I could just move on. Not that it was easy though. I wanted it to be perfect but guess that didn't happen when I myself, am far from it. I am a buffet of imperfections. Maybe that's why I write.
So my book was launched along with the books written by two talented writers i.e. Mimi Morticia and Nadhira Brundage. Their books are in Malay and selling like hot cakes. Do check them out. 
L-R: Mimi, Me and Nadhira, with our posters behind us
Was all prepared to perform for the audience during the launch but unfortunately, due to some miscommunication between publisher and emcee, that didn't happen. Good thing I managed to read Before the Funeral during the interview. Someone told me they loved the reading. There you go, the magic of spoken word.

We tried to bring life to the ferris wheel on my book's cover

The Cooler Lumpur Fest

It's always a grand experience to have an event celebrating the arts and The Cooler Lumpur fest managed to do that with panache. The presence of spoken word poetry made it a whole lot special. I have never had so much word being spoken on stage! It was awesome. The first event was WORD, which was a spoken word open mic. Hosted by my brotha in verse Jamal Raslan, the gig saw a long line up of poets sharing their words with the crowd. 4 hours of poetry. On a Friday night. You know what that is? Rock & Roll, baby. Rock & Roll.
That's Jamal, probably Instagramming or Tweeting for all we know ;)
Australian spoken word artist Omar Musa closed the night
The very next day, I found myself yet again in Publika and this time, it was to support my spoken word sistahs. I have always wanted to catch their multimedia collaborative show SERONOK! 2.0 and was pretty excited to catch the 2.0 version of it. It was a powerful show and the ladies proved that collaborative pieces are the way to go. All that energy, imagine: Elaine Foster, Illya Sumanto, Abby Latif and Okka on one stage. Phwoar.
Go girls!
Straight after SERONOK! 2.0, a bunch of us poets headed to Interpr8 Gallery to perform as it was the launch of an art exhibition. Thanks Sharmin for the opportunity to stretch out our poetic arms to those might have no clue what spoken word poetry is. Fellow poets Melizarani, Okka, the Singaporean trio of Victoria Lim, Deborah Emmanuel and Nabilah Husna and I did our thang and I'd like to think blew their socks off and away. Teehee.
Sistas from the other side of the Causeway
How gorgeous can this woman be?!
On Sunday, it was my turn to host and I brought my baby Numinous to the Cooler Lumpur fest. Unlike the previous gigs, this one was especially curated in the name of spoken word. The idea was simple: put the best poets on one stage, in one event. It's like a sampler of the local scene plus sprinkling of an international flavour. We had Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines represented by 12 poets in all. I am pretty proud of myself. That was an illuminating evening.

The venue i.e. Paradiso was packed to the brim with people!
She Walks Like a Free Country
This one was special. 7 poets from Malaysia and Singapore performing together in a show that talks about the female experience, feminism, the nation, history, sexuality, family etc etc. It was my first time performing in Singapore and it was an eye opening experience. Singapore is not that far away from us and yet there is a feel of maturity in their scene. Maybe maturity is a sense that there is a structure and a vision of how spoken word should be practiced in the country. The Malaysian scene, is well, still sex, drugs & everything poetic. It's raw. Put these two together and it was awesome. I had a great time working together with Elaine Foster, Melizarani, Victoria Lim, Nabilah Husna, Raksha and Jennifer Champion. Each poet has her own flavour. I've listened to some pieces that made me make sounds I didn't know I could make before. Oh yeah....
Ps: Melizarani won second place at the Singapore National Poetry Slam, which happened on the same weekend! Proud of her!

The Venue
The Army of Poets! Booya!
Ahh the love! These cool peeps came all the way from KL to check out the show. I am blessed!

And.... that is about it for now. If you're itching to catch spoken word poetry, you are in luck! This weekend has a healthy dose of spoken word poetry happening in KL. Will keep you posted. Till then, love and light!

0 poetic mutterings: