Sow the Seed: A New Poetry and Storytelling Event!
Sow the Seed
The idea came out of conversations with Daley Rangi (Te Ātiawa), an eclectic multidisciplinary Māori artist generating unpredictable and uncomfortable works. They spoke about a space that featured and cherished the local voices of First Nations people and Poets of Colour.
Sow the Seed was about dreaming of these spaces together as a community on a mellow Sunday afternoon. It was a grassroots undertaking focused on raising up marginalised voices and encouraging more people to garner confidence in sharing their words on other platforms and at other events. Sowing seeds of confidence, hope, connection and solidarity.
Around 20 people attended the event, but so many people signed up for open mic that it was packed with wonderful and heartfelt performances.
For this inaugural event, we featured Doreshawar Kahn, a Pashtun writer, poet and interdisciplinary performance artist living and working on Wadjuk Nyoongar Boodja. Her work explores themes of cultural identity, womanhood and belonging from the perspective of a mis/displaced Pashtun woman.
Some aspects of the event could have been more organised, such as stage set-up, line-up, and arranging an MC to host the event. The event was conducted, hosted, and documented solely by our Youth and Digital projects officer Steven Finch (Gok-Lim), which meant that the event seemed a little rushed, and each of the performers would have benefited from introductions that honoured their skill and experience. Ultimately though, the casual and supportive atmosphere helped newer performers feel more comfortable, and there was a real sense of solidarity among the people there. This was reflected in our anonymous survey, where people offered universally positive feedback:
"I had a fabulous time listening to such a talented group of writers. What a joy it was. Left inspired and uplifted as well as opening many discussions which were thought provoking. Thanks for a magic afternoon." "I loved this event. Next time I will definitely bring more friends! I think it is so important to create spaces for POC stories and for written art. And i felt really proud to have an event like this in my community. Please keep supporting this event and events like it. "
"Great to see a new community poetry event, especially with a focus on People of Colour, as this is rare in Perth."
"Really enjoyed the casual atmosphere and intimate space of the venue in my local area. Great to see such talent and share this with friends." Unfortunately, we unable to produce a journal of everyone's works for the performance. People needed more time to think about what to submit to the journal, and producing a literary journal and an event at the same time would have been a tremendous undertaking for us! We are not ones to shy away from tremendous things, but we also like to take time with the things that are important to people, to make sure we do a good job by the community. Creating a publication that celebrates diverse voices in our local community can be an aspirational goal for us in the future!