La Mama presented poetry for the first time in 1967, now curated by Amanda AnastasiLa Mama Poetica remains a night of some of the best spoken word and poetry that Melbourne has to offer, with a diverse selection of both emerging and established poets.

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Michael Farrell has published several books of poetry, most recently ‘Family Trees’ (2020 Giramondo) and ‘I Love Poetry’ (2017). His previous title, ‘Cocky’s Joy’, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry in 2016. He also co-edited ‘Out of the Box’ (Puncher & Wattman) with Jill Jones, an anthology of Australian gay and lesbian poetry.

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Emilie Collyer writes across and between poetry, performance and prose and is a recipient of the 2020 Varuna Publisher Fellowship with Giramondo Publishing. She has written several award-winning plays, including The Good Girl with multiple international productions. Emilie is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT researching feminist creative practice.

A black man with a broad welcoming smile. He wears a shirt with a tie and suspenders with a head scarf around his forehead.

Thabani Tshuma is a Zimbabwean writer and performance poet, influenced by the myriad identity challenges of the diaspora, expatriats and immigrants. He was a 2019 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship recipient and the 2019 Slamalamadingdong Grand Slam Champion. In 2019, he won the Melbourne Spoken Word Prize, People’s Choice Award and Convener’s Choice Award.

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Angela Costi is the author of five poetry collections and eight produced plays. In 1995, she was the recipient of a travel award from the Australian National Languages and Literacy Board to study Ancient Greek Drama in Greece. In 2020, Angela was funded by the City of Melbourne to produce four video poems during COVID-19 lockdown.