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The ANU Women’s Department, PARSA Women’s Office and Canberra literary collective Scissors Paper Pen would like to present ‘Spoken: Women Armed with Words’ an evening focused on women’s voices and stories. It will be a night for those who like their feminism loud and to hear the words of all kinds of women. Spoken is an open mic night for all woman-identifying and non- binary people. It is inspired by the impressive women writers we have in Canberra and is dedicated to their words, whatever forms they take. Spoken is unique in that it is organised solely by women and is intended to be a symbolic claiming of space; allowing women to create an autonomous environment for the voices of woman-identifying and/or non-binary people. So get up there and recite your favourite poem, your own poem, a story, a joke, speak out about diversity, feminism, or bust out a sonnet about an issue that relates to you or the world. There will be performances by a number of Canberra based writers as well as time for anyone to jump up and take the mic!

Join us at The Food Co-op at 7:30pm to 9pm on Saturday the 30th of April and get ready to witness the power of women armed with words. (Food will be provided with dietary requirements considered).

Leading up to the night SPP will be running a tasty little workshop on Tuesday the 26th of April from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Chifley Library at ANU (room 3.19) for people to learn more about writing and presenting from experienced writers in the community. Joining us will be slam poet Miranda Lello and gender studies lecturer Hannah McCann. Come along and contribute to the discussion.

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Miranda Lello. Photo: Adam Thomas 2016

Miranda has performed her own poetry for the last twelve years, mostly in Canberra but also as far afield as Texas. Once she was even in the National Poetry Slam. You can watch her perform here and read more of her work on her blog.

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Hannah McCann

Hannah has a PhD in gender studies and is a lecturer in gender studies at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on femininity as explored in feminist writing and queer femme subcultures. She has published in Australian Feminist Studies and Australian Humanities Review, as well as The Conversation. You can visit her blog at binarythis.com or follow her on Twitter @binarythis.

*Please note that these events are autonomous; meaning that only woman-identifying and/or non-binary people can attend and perform. The events are organised in this fashion as SPP has partnered with the ANU Women’s Department, which has a history of establishing autonomous spaces, and Scissors Paper Pen is perfectly placed to facilitate allowing politically, socially, and economically oppressed groups of people to express themselves in an environment that is solely dedicated to them.

(Woman or woman-identifying refers to someone who identifies as a woman. The term recognizes that gender is a self-identification that does not necessarily match the sex of an individual; that physical appearance and genitalia are not the only determinants of gender. Non-binary is a term for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are thus outside of the gender binary).

Feature image: The Food Co-op Shop & Cafe

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