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Going Down Swinging Launch

Going Down Swinging was launched at the Northcote Social Club last night. M and I attended, to watch a lot of spoken word (Going Down Swinging has an accompanying cd of spoken word) and the triphop band, MISO, who are very cool and remind me a little of Bjork. I did wonder, during the spoken word, about the form: it seems to be closest to prose poetry, and in the flesh obviously has the advantage of being a performance. Some of the performances were closer to the poetry end of things, and I especially enjoyed those with accompanying music, while others seemed rambling and in need of stronger ‘through lines’ as a scriptwriter might say. As a whole then, I felt ambivalent about it, though maybe it’s simply the case with all forms: it can be hit and miss. Anyway, here’s a video of MISO.

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Rjurik Davidson is a writer, editor and speaker. Rjurik’s novel, The Stars Askew was released in 2016. Rjurik is a former associate editor of Overland magazine. He can be found at rjurik.com and tweets as @rjurikdavidson.

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  1. AUuuugh! Rjurik, no! Please, no! The term 'prose-poetry' is a dirty,dirty, trick. It's offensive to me. It means nothing. It's all wrong way round. It's like changing your surname after you get married. Remember, please, that the spoken word was the first form of literacy, THEN came poetry, THEN came prose. So writers being generally ambivalent about 'spoken word' as a 'form' is devaluing the root of your art. Like Picasso, being ambivalent about paint. Of course, if the quality was crap, then the evening was probably very painful.

  2. I stand corrected. :) Though to be honestI stand corrected. :) Though to be honest, words and grammar seem to me to be equivalent of paint, and then how you arrange them, and how they are performed, is a question of form. So I think you've conflated two things: the spoken word, and "Spoken Word", one we use every day, the other is a particular arrangement, with conventions, public performances and so on. So as far as Spoken Word goes, some is more poetic, and some more, um, prose-like – it is a production of spoken words which is clearly different from speech. I guess you're right though – judging an entire form is pretty silly, so I stand corrected on that. And I did like a lot of it – and really like the RRR show Aural Text.

    • Re: Rjurik commented on Going Down Swinging Launch

      On 12/06/09 8:44 AM, \”IntenseDebate Notifications\” <notifications@intensedebatemail.com> wrote:

      approve

  3. Spoken word as a communication concept developed before written communication of course. But as an artform, and as creative social commentary, the artform of spoken word, both spontaneous and rehearsed (the drum messengers, griots, bards etc) developed before other literary artforms as well. And in fact, led to the other artforms, I believe. So in that sense, the idea of prose of fiction or written storytelling came from transposing, and warping, the spoken form…

    Aural Text is good. I was interviewed a few weeks ago for Spoken Word , a new program on 3CR on Thursday mornings, by FANTASTIC spoken wordster & co-presenter Santo Cazzati. I hope this program will go some way toward the 'back away slowly, no sudden movements' attitude most other writers (& the general public) have toward spoken word.

    & thanks for not using that filthy term again, It gave me convulsions :)

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