91This evening, as part of the Overload Poetry Festival, fortnightly poetry gig Passionate Tongues will feature Nathan Curnow, Cate Kennedy, Jennifer Compton and Miles Allinson. From Curnow’s haunted Ghost Poetry Project poems to Cate Kennedy’s joyflights, the evening is sure to be spectacular. Poet Michael Reynolds is the MC and founder of Passionate Tongues, and the Melbourne poetry scene’s unofficial photographer. If you come across a fantastically lit dramatically Artemisia Gentileschi-like photograph of a Melbourne poet at the mic, it is likely to have been captured by Reynolds. Reynolds’ photographic exhibition of Melbourne poets can be viewed at the Brunswick Hotel (home of Passionate Tongues) during Overload 2009. The Overland Overloaded team recently caught up with Michael:

When and where is the poetry night that you MC? Every second Monday at the Brunswick Hotel, 8:30pm-ish
Pardon? Here. Now.
People really want to hear poetry in Melbourne that often?
At least every two weeks, some even more often.
Yes. Beer helps.
No, seriously. How do you make them rock up?
The email group for Overload, flyers when my printer works, and word of mouth. About half of the crowd comes here each fortnight.
No other bribes?
Just good poetry and performance.
How long has it been running for?
Ten years.
Why is it even still running?
Good feature readers, a good venue and an open stage where people don’t feel threatened or judged
When will it ever stop?
As long as there is an appreciation for poetry out there it will never stop.
Poetry, why?
What better way is there to communicate and convey ideas?
Are you insane?
Are you sure?
Plug your venue
Brunswick Hotel 140 Sydney Road, Good Folk Club every other Monday, Roulette Open Stage every Wednesday and great bands each other night.
Plug it harder
BRUNSWICK HOTEL 140 SYDNEY ROAD ETC.www.brunswickhotel.net. Passionate Tongues Poetry every second Monday at the Brunswick Hotel, feature performers plus open stage, cost $2.50. That’s a lot of poetry for only $2.50!
Anything else you want to plug?
Check out the exhibition of photos of poets at the Brunswick Hotel during Overload week. Oh, and there is a CD of our tenth anniversary gig available as well. Did I mention I have a chapbook?
Break it down:


There is nobody else around
but you look about
for here is proof
somebody has been before

…curiosity and amusement draw you
to the metal and plastic chair
placed there

by no-one for everyone

and you think

of the crowded train
the one seat remaining
surely not for you

but your quick search

who the chair is for
it is yours
but only

if you feel


-Upon Finding a Chair in the Forest is the title poem in Michael’s chapbook, published by the Melbourne Poets Union (2008).

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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