Last night I was fortunate enough to be a panel judge for unplugged, uncensored and (at times) awe-inspiring performance poetry by Page2Stage, produced by Printable Reality.
First up was Jess Holly Bates with ‘MULTI-TASK’ who delivered a thought-provoking platter of of multi-cultural reflections, of two white warrior women and the houses they come from. Spoken partly in Maori, a translation was provided, the audience was asked to count ‘Tahi’, ‘Rua’, ‘Toru’ etc…and there was a lot of clicking of fingers, which meant the poets liked it.
Nalini Singh executed the longest work called ‘Fucking With Sunshine’ that explored identity through the landscape, space, human beings and the new world, namely America. There was impressive multi-media of the cosmic world, choreographed dance with two others, ribbon activity and multiple voices from the romanticist and voyageur of life.
Angela King stood and recited her poetry ‘False Prophets’ about identity as an artist. Stories from the past and present inspired by Janet Frame, Katherine Mansfield and Robin Hyde. Angela discarded (numerous) paper into the audience, as she read from her book, interesting yet distracting.
Lastly, Kashka Tunstall presented ‘heart don’t fall’ which was definitely gut-wrenching, vulnerable, raw and in essence a journey of a woman experiencing rejection, from society.
My favourite line was ‘words have saved me like medicine couldn’t’ .
Kashka had an extraordinary singing voice and used minimal set, just a microphone. Brave and honest, captivating and spoken with truth.
Each artist was mentored for their work over the course of this year. The mentors were Raewyn Alexander, Grae Burton, Lynn Cardy and Rosanna Raymond. Only Raewyn was in attendance last night.
Lastly the winner received a trip to London, invited by ‘Apples and Snakes’ to perform their work in 2014.
Jess Holly Bates won. Congratulations to Jess and all of the finalists, for your truth.