Twenty seniors
70 – 98 years young
Took a bold leap into the world of slam poetry

Words emerged from shared stories
Capturing moments that have shaped their lives

They came together as strangers
and left as wordsmiths

In June – July 2019, a group of passionate and powerful seniors had the chance to be a part of the slam poetry revolution under the guidance of an expert poet and literary performer, David Stavanger.

Gran Slam is a collaboration between Everybody NOW and Feros Care; two organisations committed to smashing stereotypes and supporting communities to live bolder lives.

This project certainly achieved that!

“The participants have taken the microphone with both hands and talked about their inner most fears, their reflections on life, but also the kind of joy, strength and resilience they have after a lifetime of experiences,”
Kate Baggerson, Executive Producer

The project consisted of a series of poetry workshops that aimed to inspire the wordsmiths of wisdom to give voice to their ideas and experiences. Throughout the workshops the emerging older poets worked on several individual pieces as well as a group poem edited by David Stavanger. The poem ‘If I died tomorrow’ was presented as a performance film and screened at a Feros Care bespoke event at Byron Writers Festival.
– Behind the Scenes Video –
– Behind the Scenes Video –

These Gran Slammers are people with a declaration to make, a voice to be heard, an opinion to be penned – regardless of prior experience in poetry. The Gran Slam project gave them the skills and platform to express themselves through prose and performance, and access to a wealth of knowledge that made the final performance a riveting success.

Feros Care’s Tarnya Sim
“One of the things that seniors often comment about is that they feel invisible. This project really puts them on the map and allows their voices, which are so important, to be heard.”

The project consisted of a series of poetry workshops that aimed to inspire the wordsmiths of wisdom to give voice to their ideas and experiences. Throughout the workshops the emerging older poets worked on several individual pieces as well as a group poem edited by David Stavanger. The poem ‘If I died tomorrow’ was presented as a performance film and screened at a Feros Care bespoke event at Byron Writers Festival.

“Since I started doing Gran Slam, I can’t stop writing! I have woken up at 4am, writing, writing, writing. I said to myself “why do I write so much? I need only a few lines!” but it was just so interesting, and the words just kept coming.
Nina Marzi – Gran Slam Participant & Feros Care Village Residenct
98 years

POET PROFILES

Roger Matthews
Age 81
Labrador QLD

Self-proclaimed as the only South African born Aussie bush poet, Roger has travelled the world and sailed the South Seas but his favorite place to be is huddled beside a campfire with a glass of red, reciting some of his favourites… to anyone who’ll listen. A romantic at heart, he has his cellar stocked and his sight set on 90!

Lilith Rocha
Age 77
Byron Bay, NSW

Astrology columnist by day and poet by night, Lilith spins planets, words and her two new hips as the leader of a local hula troupe.

Her poetry is as mysterious and alluring as her life: from name changes, to being a famous artist’s nude, to studying healing arts and South Pacific crafts, to riding camels in Rajasthan, Lilith’s loops around the Sun have been out of this world, and she’s only just getting started. What’s next? Well, learning Spanish to travel through Mexico and that’s just for starters.

Margaret Sparks
Age 76
Broadbeach QLD

You name it, she has done it. Margaret’s checklist includes a motherly hat-trick, inspiring artists with her presence and charting the four corners of this round world. Self-described as a blend of sophistication, hippie and everything in-between, Margaret is a passionate environmentalist, actually passionate, full stop. Continuing to blaze through life she’s not shy of a challenge and pushing herself to try new things, including Gran Slam. Oh and in her spare time, she has also self-published a collection of her memoirs, just in case she forgets something – but we suspect not!

Read about all the Gran Slam Poets Here

CREDITS

Poets

Aaron Blomeley
Alan Harkness
Barry Hicks
Eugen Sauter
Felicity Gordon
Hugh Webster
Jo-Anne King
Julie Crow
Lilith Rocha
Lyn Thomson
Margaret Sparks
Nina Marzi
Robbie Wesley
Roger Matthews
Ruth Savage
Sheron Young
Wendy Taylor

Feros Care

Jennene Buckley15
Tarnya Sim
Cassia De Oliveira Cruz

Everybody NOW!

David Stavanger
Kate Baggerson
Ian Pidd
Daniele Constance
Logan Preste

Art-work Agency

Claudio Kirac
Mike Calvino
Laura Strange
Dave Read

CEO
Creative Marketing Lead
Project Officer, Marketing

Lead poet and workshop facilitator
Executive Producer
Performance Director short film
Project Co-ordinator
Sound Design

Assistant Director/ Editor
Director of photography
Production Assistant
Editor

Thank you

To the whole Feros team and Village Residential teams, Art-work Agency, Paul Briggs at Sanctum Forge Boxing Studio, Promedia and to the extraordinary participants who penned their bold ideas and voiced their vulnerabilities and passions.

“What a growth Gran Slam has added to my life! I am able to see poetry in everything. I lost so many inhibitions and have emerged so much braver and ready for anything.”
Wendy Taylor Gran Slam Participant – 80 years

Gran Slam © Everybody NOW!