On the second Tuesday of August, and as part of Red Room’s Poetry Month 2023, the monthly Poetry Night at Sappho will play host to AVANT GAGA #61, with feature poets Luke Beesley, Fatimah Asghar, Jane Gibian, ZHI, and Monique Lyle, plus an open mic section to close the event. Entry is FREE, as ever, with drinks and tapas available for purchase at the bar.
LUKE BEESLEY is a writer, artist and singer-songwriter. In addition to his highly regarded books, which include Aqua Spinach (2018), Jam Sticky Vision (2015) and New Works on Paper (2013), his poetry has been published widely in Australia and internationally and has been translated into several languages. His latest collection, In the Photograph, was published in 2023. He lives and works on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung land (Naarm/Melbourne).
FATIMAH ASGHAR is a writer and filmmaker. In 2011 they created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina while on a Fulbright studying theatre in post-genocidal countries. They are the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-Nominated web series. A Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, they were also featured on the 2017 Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. They are the author of If They Come For Us (One World, 2018). They are the co-editor of Halal If You Hear Me, an anthology that celebrates Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans.
JANE GIBIAN’s latest collection of poetry is Beneath the Tree Line (Giramondo, 2021). Her work has been anthologised in Contemporary Australian Poetry (Puncher and Wattmann) and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter). She works as a librarian and also writes about libraries, history and the environment.
ZHI (they/he) is a poet/artist based on unceded Ngunnawal and Ngambri country. They are the author of the award-winning collection of poetry, blur by the; and is one half of the experimental poetry/sound duo known as 莎瑜 (ShaYu). ZHI loves play and experimentation. This currently involves tactile mediums like crocheting and nail art. He loves lo-fi stuff and emotional maximalism and is trying his best not to be so obscure.
MONIQUE LYLE is currently completing her first book of poetry, ‘The Park’, as part of a creative doctorate. The collection largely deals with images from her childhood, spent growing up in Sydney suburban housing commission. You can find some of these poems published in places like Overland and Cordite.
For anyone who would like to read a poem in the open section, sign-up is from 6:30pm on the night at the venue. Up to 10 readers will read for up to 2 mins each.
IMAGE: Gerhard Richter, ‘Flow P16’, 2016, 39.4 x 78.7 inch, diasec-mounted chromogenic print on aluminium composite panel.
AVANT GAGA and the Poetry Night at Sappho is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.