Poetry and Prose: “2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize – Wildcard Poet” written by Karen Robinson

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No. 6 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North - Photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 6 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North.  A lonely ‘Open Mic’ stands patiently waiting for its 30 poets to begin reading and performing their poems.  Photographed by Karen Robinson  NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.




Recently, I had the good fortune to be drawn as a 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize ‘wildcard’ poet.  This meant that I was able to read one of my poems along with 29 other Melbourne poets showcasing their poetry at Melbourne Spoken Word Prize (MSW) end of year competition gala event held at 75 on Reid, Fitzroy North. Poets were shortlisted by gig conveners around Melbourne, with wildcard spots. Each poet was limited to one poem each with a performance limit of 3 minutes, and no props or costumes allowed. Five judges from the spoken word scene:  Michael Reynolds (Passionate Tongues), Libby Charlton (Dan Poets), Michelle Dabrowski (Slamalamadingdong), Amanda Anastasi (La Mama Poetica) and Ebony MonCrief (Voices in the Attic) selected the best performance on the night based on a combination of writing and performance (MSW 2016).  The event was hosted by Anthony O’Sullivan and Benjamin Solah is the founder and Director of MSW.


No. 9 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North - Photographed by Karen Robinson

No. 9 The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize Event held at 75 on Reid Street, Fitzroy North – Hosted by Anthony O’Sullivan of MSW.  Photographed by Karen Robinson – NB:  All images are protected by copyright laws.





The winner of The 2016 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, Kylie Supski performing ‘Graffiti Walls’ at 75 on Reid, North Fitzroy on December 2, 2016 (MSW 2016)”.  Kylie was certainly a standout on the night and well deserving of being the winner of this prize.  Below is what Melbourne Spoken Word had to say about Kylie and the YouTube features her performance on the night.

“Kylie Supski is a Polish-Australian poet and spoken word performer. Kylie’s inspiration comes from her personal experiences, all aspects of her life, and the people she is surrounded by. Kylie is greatly concerned with using art as a method of speaking out about global economic and political inequality. She encourages her audiences towards critical thinking, and to consider the weight of their own powers as citizens with specific regard to the inhumane policies backed by the Australian government controlled by less than ‘The 1%’. Kylie however, enjoys a diverse repertoire and is passionate about exploring the beauty of being alive (MSW 2016).”






It was an amazing opportunity to read my prose poem at the MSW event.  The Poet community was well represented within the audience, along with family and friends offering support to all the poets that read.  I had decided before the event to just enjoy the experience, I was glad to be there and able to read, that was more than enough for me on this night!  My dear husband, using my mobile phone kindly recorded my humble performance and is here below – NB:  Apologies for the poor sound.


— A Good Conversation —

We talked about the-everyday-things,

a catch-up conversation,

mostly predictable,

between us, as mother and daughter.


Then I asked her, “How is work?”

She surprisingly revealed that things were not good.

After listening to her

for a while,

I realised that I had little to offer

in the way of remedies or good advice,

even though as her mother,

it should have been expected.


There was a sadness

a feeling of helplessness within me

that said I cannot make this right!


She spoke of the challenges,

she spoke of the injustices,

she spoke of personal anguish,

she spoke of disappointment,

she spoke of sadness

and grief.

She just spoke.


I was there to listen.

I was grateful

that, as her mother,

I was there,

able to listen.

I saw pain on her face,

heard it in her voice.


I saw her relieved

that she could share

with me, knowing,

without asking,

that I would be non-judgemental.

It was a good conversation.


While her problems, concerns, and anxiety

still remained,

I was able to offer a silent assurance

that no matter what,

I will be there,

that my love for her, my daughter,

is truly unconditional.


With this the pain slipped away

from her face, her anxiety put to rest

for another time;

the injustices explored and clarified

so that they were now manageable,

and her challenges cast aside

to be revisited at another time.


On this day, her problems

became smaller

as our time shared together

became bigger.

It was a good conversation; 

a precious time between us

as mother and daughter.

– ο –

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - November 2016

Please click here to read more about my Poetry & Prose - 2016 & 2015




We really enjoyed the evening!  A man came up to me afterwards and said “you made me want to ring my mother and I don’t even get along with her”.  Just those words from this man made me think “wow so good to think that by sharing can get people thinking about their lives” – art for therapy at it’s best for sure!


Melbourne Spoken Word - Open Mic Poetry

Melbourne Spoken Word – Open Mic Poetry




© Karen Robinson – December 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy, photography and storytellingby Karen Robinson