Pagent the pain away

One of the best things in my poetry life* is sharing the stage with Betsy Turcot, so it’s a good day for me today.
But it’s even better because I get to share the stage with about 20 slam-stars and Buddy Wakefield, ultimate queer slamstar, as a part of the Brisbane Writers Festival.
Details here:

Are you Queensland’s next slam champion? Join US slam legend Buddy Wakefield in the search for brave new voices to share their words and hearts at the second Brisbane heat of Australian Poetry Slam ’14. For more information and registration details visit

For those who don’t know Buddy, he is well-googlable. And this is his bio.

Buddy Wakefield  is the three-time world champion spoken word artist featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and most recently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then successfully defended that title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands against the national champions of seven European countries with works translated into Dutch.

There was a beautiful and interesting discussion at Queensland Poetry Festival this last weekend about poetry and politics, the details of which are hard to summarise in this space and between getting this laundry up on the line. But suffice to say, there was consideration of the mere act of taking up space as a “minority” person, and if this was in fact a political act. I have a lot to say about that. And no time at all.

But who cares. I’m hosting this slam with Betsy and Buddy Wakefield tonight and that’s three queer poets up on the stage, taking space and making, in some way, political acts. Because I can honestly say that I am grateful for just about every queer person who took up life living space making political acts being wild ruining themselves eating out dining in losing cells burning oxygen staring the reflection camping it up camping out shifting shipping news working working the way work works. And the folk who did that before I worked out that I wasn’t ashamed to be queer, well, they kept me alive. Even when they weren’t trying.

*oh the humanity

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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