The Hearth: Masquerade

The Hearth is quickly becoming a fixture of the South Australian spoken word scene. Here at Tulpa we’re no strangers to The Hearth, or the incredibly supportive platform they provide for Adelaide’s writing community. The Hearth’s approach to creative readings is unique, with equal focus placed on work and the creative process.

Tuesday’s ‘Masquerade’ theme did not disappoint, with readers approaching the subject from entirely different angles that both delighted and fascinated the audience. First up was Amy T. Matthews, a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University and award winning novelist. Amy shared an extract from one of her romance novels, admitted her embarrassment at some of the tropes it covered and shared her experiences dealing with publishers in Australia and abroad.

The second reader of the night was CJ McLean who treated us not only to a discussion of queer identity and persona in literary history but also donned a wig and performed a cheeky musical number. Needless to say, the audience had a great time clapping along.

Next up was Tulpa’s own Taeghan Buggy, a writer, poet and creative writing Honours student. Taeghan’s poetry gave a modern touch to a few mythological deviants. Who doesn’t like to hear about Puck as a high school delinquent or about Loki’s modern expressions of queerness?

After a brief bar break we were treated to an essay on Billy Joel and the changing definitions of ‘cool’, courtesy of Quart Short collective co-facilitator, playwright and essayist Ben Brooker. Ben’s creative process included printing his piece off at OfficeWorks right before the show.

The final reader of the night was social media poet Katie Keys who combined wit with photography for a performance that was equal parts poignant and hysterically funny. Katie’s dedication to her medium has made her tweet a daily poem on social media for nearly a decade.

Every Hearth night ends with something special- a chance for the audience to ask the performers questions. The Q&A is a great opportunity for the audience to learn from, and engage with, the performers, their work and their creative process.

I would recommend The Hearth to all writers of every experience level. Whether you go as a performer or a listener there is no doubt that you will get something out of these extraordinary reading nights.

Words by Lisandra Linde

For more information on The Hearth and upcoming events check out their Facebook page. You can also learn more about The Hearth collective and its performers on their website


Speakeasy Flinders: Creative Readings

In the lead up to their final event of the year, Speakeasy’s president Amelia Hughes gives us a little insight into this student-led spoken word club.

Back in the 1920s, a speakeasy was an underground bar where its customers could ‘speak easy’ and freely in the times of tough prohibition laws without fear of being reported. The term has been re-appropriated, and now our speakeasy is a place where writers can read their creative works aloud without fear of ridicule.

In a city as small as Adelaide, Speakeasy is a great way to connect with other aspiring authors, especially when you’re young and maybe don’t know anyone else who writes. Small writing communities—such as ours at Speakeasy Flinders—can help encourage writers to take that final step to be published, and offer a network of support and people to bounce ideas off of. It’s also a lot of fun being able to talk about your own work with people who are interested in what you want to write, instead of a friend or family member and watching as their eyes slowly glaze over, their head nodding periodically.

A lot of what people choose to read at these events are short stories, segments from larger stories, or a few poems, but occasionally we have the chance to hear creative non-fiction, a scene from a play, or even a song.

We also produce a couple of zines each year. A zine is a type of hand-made portfolio crossed with a scrapbook, usually made by artists who want to creatively display a selection of their works. Our zine feature a collection of short stories, poems, flash fiction and even a bit of art, mostly submitted by the students of Flinders University. Many of those who submit also participate in the Speakeasy reading events, having the chance to share their work both verbally and on paper. We sell our zines at our event for only a few dollars, and the profits help us continue as a club.

At our events at The Wheaty we like to feature a prominent writer from the Adelaide community. Taking our stage for the final event of 2017 is Mark Tripodi, a playwright whose play, Anteworld, featured at the Adelaide Fringe in early 2017. Hearing established writers at a small event like ours shows the aspiring creative minds of Adelaide that anything is possible.

Our final event for the year is on the 22nd of November at The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Gold coin entry. We will also be selling the ninth volume of our beloved Speakeasy zine, fresh off the press.

Words by Amelia Hughes