Overload Poetry Festival started ten years ago as a TAFE project of Melbourne poet Steve Smart. and look at it now: interstate Heavyweights, Nu Yorican slammers, poetry scrolling live down the walls of Federation Square. To me, Overload is the worm that aspired to become a dinosaur, though according to it's maker, it would prefer to be an echidna, on the evolutionary scale.
Slam Up Overloaded starts festival coverage this evening with our vox-pop with the festival's very own no-good baby daddy. Here's the always amusing Steve Smart, on avoiding child support, taking the little sh*t to the park some weekends, permitting monsters to dance, and what's new for Overload 2011.
Surely Overload isn’t still running. Is it the Frankenstein that outgrew it’s maker?Running, no, Overload is dancing! Even monsters are allowed to dance. If they try to run they tend to get shot or taken to with torches by frightened villagers. Overload is a totally all dancing poetry festival. We throw the best parties you know.
They say every worm wants to be a dinosaur...where will Overload end up?
An echidna. 'Cause poets have to get tough to survive this harsh Australian climate and all the dangerous beasties that have no respect for our delicate hides.
How do you feel, as Overload’s no-good baby-daddy, when each birthday swings around?
Long as it doesn't ask for child support I'm prepared to shell out for birthday and Christmas presents. I take the little fucker to the park sometimes on weekends too. Kick the Sherrin.
What’s new this year?
Everything. It's like a whole new festival. One that is happily similar to the old one in all the ways that made it good, but nothing like it in the ways that made it a wretched phalanx of doom.
If there’s one thing we should come and hear, what would it be?
NYC crew on the Global Poetics tour - Jive Poetic and Ken Arkind with Canadian legend Shane Koyczan at Footscray Community Art Centre. Bam! http://www.overloadpoetry.org/event/tell-it-like-it-is/
Are you featuring this year, and where?
I am indeed. I'm MC'ing three gigs and performing at about three gigs. Somewhere.
That’s not a plug
Yeah that was a bit crap actually.
Surely you can do better than that.
I can! The events I'm participating in will be stupendous, sublime, ridiculous, not in the least facetious, full of reckless poetic abandon and carefully drawn phrases, with music and painting and theatre and oh boy I'm getting excited just thinking about it all…
I shall be performing with crowds of stars at:
Opening Night and Film Noir poetry evening 'Speak Me Deadly' at Bar Nancy. I'm also MC'ing 'La Femme Erotica' as one of the two token males at Dog's Bar.
I'm on other stuff as well, so youse should best keep checking the website for updates as they appear.
Are you ready? Break it down.
Oh I'm ready…
In the belly of the best we ride our ponies
like metaphors mixing
symbols signals syntax
we ride dirty and free - beats or no beats
Danger to the masses, poets on the streets
techno savvy savages facebooking retweets
my melancholy melting
pot smoking Dorothy Porter and Shelton Lea
Ten years of Overload flamboyant hieroglyphics
begins at the Fitzroy Mothership
get a grip on this poetic trip
come lose your shit
and flip your lip on the mic like you like it...