Whether you like your words shaken, stirred, strutted, sensitive or sexed-up, Wordplay will satisfy you for sure. Here’s a thankyou from Wordplay organiser Geoff Lemon (Sunblind, Picaro Press 2008), for those who supported the bushfire fundraiser last month and the word on what’s up for play tonight:

Firstly, can I deeply thank everyone who contributed to Wordplay’s bushfire fundraiser in February. We raised nearly two thousand dollars for those who needed it; we had our biggest crowd ever; our performers were amazing; and so was the atmosphere in that room. Thanks to all who came and who contributed. Even if you just forwarded the invitation, every effort helped. I’ve also been asked to pass on the sincere thanks of those who our fundraising was in aid of.

Wordplay will be back this Thursday, the 12th of March, and we promise you as good a show as we always provide. From 8:00 pm at the Dan O’Connell Hotel, we have:


Adding another feather to a cap that resembles an Indian headdress, Ben’s lyrical skills earned him a guest spot on the new album by Astronomy Class (the side project for The Herd frontman, Ozi Batla). Ben is one of the best wordsmiths around, seamlessly blending elements of hip-hop, poetry and spoken word. And Christ we’re glad we stole him from Sydney a couple of years ago.


is guaranteed to have audiences shifting, shuffling, blushing and squeaking. She writes love and human relationships in a way no-one can imitate, merging realism and fantasy with a dash of the erotic and a beautifully twisted sense of humour. Lee writes with equal facility in English, Hebrew and Russian, having moved here from the USSR via Israel. She also has the best damn accent you’ve ever heard.


The versatile Julez is a rapper and a slammer pushing all kinds of boundaries. He received rave reviews from Triple J presenters during his time as an Unearthed feature artist, he’s part of the acclaimed Tall Man Sound System, and he’s supported artists like Sage Francis and Buck 65. He even created a hip-hop cabaret show for the Fringe Festival. Now he’ll be stepping off-beat, for an acapella performance that will show the true complexity of hip-hop flavoured rhyming.


Wordplay gets musical as we feature one of the country’s best blues artists. Having spent last year touring Canada and South America, she’ll take the stage this week. I can’t rave enough about her live performances – slide guitar chops, harmonica skillz, a truly wonderful voice, and songs whose lyrics aren’t just decoration. Trust me on this one.

So come one, come all! Bring your friends, forward the invite, spread the word, and help us fill the hell out of that venue. Let’s get it cranking one more time.

at the Dan O’Connell Hotel (back bar)
Thursday March 12 from 8:00 pm
Corner of Canning and Princes Streets, Carlton
(between Lygon and Nicholson)
Entry by donation
www.wordplay.org.au for details

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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