Live poet’s society launches

Sarah Pycroft reading her poetic work. Tori Green
Sarah Pycroft reading her poetic work. Tori Green

Live poet’s society launches

Spoken Arts Siem Reap, a twice-monthly exchange weaving together words, performance and alcohol to create something quite special, will be launched on Tuesday night with the hope that it will provide an avenue for poets and writers to come together and share their work.

According to poet and co-organiser Sarah Pycroft, the idea originated after the highly successful Graffoetry Trail earlier this year, organised by Tori Green, when X-Bar and 1961 played hosts to spoken word artists Kosal Khiev and Dan Tsu.

Pycroft says, “Both gigs were epic and we wanted to keep the ball rolling. A few weeks later Rhi Quinn, Tori and I went down to Phnom Penh where Kosal was hosting his first poetry slam and following that we resolved to set something similar up in Siem Reap.”

The gathering that inspired the Spoken Arts organisers took place at Voodoo Bar, and was initiated by Rhi Quinn. This featured readings of original poetry and monologues as well as recitations of famous poems and excerpts from a Cambodian ritual text.

Those of a nervous disposition were encouraged by a free drink for anyone who read something.

Green is aware that some people are put off by the idea of poetry and says “Sometimes poetry can be seen as a little highbrow and I want to challenge that by mixing street art, murals, spoken word and poetry together as a performance.”

Pycroft says the name Spoken Arts is designed to encompass more than just poetry and spoken word. It also includes anything that people want to read or perform, whether they have written it or want to share someone else's work that they love.

Green is keen to see more people get involved. She says, “I would love to see it grow – at the first night we had five different nationalities take part. We have people who are published and people who come with a friend and write a poem on their beer mat. I really would like to encourage more Khmer to take part.”

Writer and co- organiser Tony Patrick thinks that there is a lot of untapped talent in town. He says, “Siem reap needs to be about more than just bars and clubs and I think people are hungry for alternatives. Poetry and literature are a good place to start in a town with so many artists who haven't surfaced yet."

Spoken Arts Siem Reap commences on July 9 at J4B bar and will continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month. It starts at 8pm with $1 cocktails to ease nerves. The organisers are keen to emphasise that this will be the ‘write’ place to spend Tuesday nights – and that poems don’t have to rhyme. Joanna Wolfarth

MOST VIEWED

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Endangered animals found dead in Pailin

    An endangered gaur was one of “many” wild animals found dead in “dozens” of illegal traps in Pailin province’s Phnom Khieu Wildlife Sanctuary, said Chit Thy, a military officer working with rangers to protect the conservation area, on Wednesday. Thy, an officer in the 507