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Celebrating Charles Baudelaire

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Event description

April 9th is the birthday of Charles Baudelaire, one of the most influential writers of the modern era. To mark the occasion we will be hosting a tribute event at the El Rocco Bar.

This year we introduce the artistic direction of Michael Aiken for a project series on Transformation in five partitions 2024 – 2028 with the curatorial scope to reflect the diversity of cultural, political and social perspectives that preoccupy poets in our communities in our collective histories with relation to a commitment to the work, and practices of Charles Baudelaire.

The line-up includes feature poets and performances, in addition to an open-mic hosted by the project Artistsic Director, poet and author, Michael Aiken.

Registrations are strictly at the venue on the day of celebration.

Celebrating Charles Baudelaire 2024-01 

Michael Aiken, Artistic Director

For our ongoing series of annual events to mark the birthday of Charles Baudelaire, we invite artists of all kinds to respond to the theme of transformation – creatively, intellectually, viscerally, spiritually, and in any other way you feel compelled.

Each edition of this event will further venture into a specific area of transformation. In 2024, that sub-theme is laying down roots.

Laying down roots. Because, although transformation can be a messy and chaotic, or a sleek and abrupt shift from one state to another, transformation encompasses creation and endurance far more vastly than it does destruction and cessation.

In exploring this theme, we encourage artists to seek out and engage with other recent contemporary Australian practice concerned with transformation, such as the 2024 Sydney Biennale or Plumwood Mountain’sThe Transformative Now, and their forthcoming issue on Queering ecologies. We invite everyone to freely share these and other sources through our social media and by bringing examples along on the day.

Transformation: laying down roots
I set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge…

The germ of Charles Baudelaire’s work crawls into life in the mid-19th century, extending its reach towards the turn of the 20th. His ideas provoke, then and now, ongoing responses to our quickly shifting world. He excavates the swiftly changing, ever-urbanising Paris of the industrial revolution, as he not only observes but gets in amongst the transformations of place, people and community occurring around and within him.

Taking this as our leaping point, Baudelaire’s Birthday is adopting Transformation as our enduring theme. For 2024, the edition theme is “laying down roots”.

Transformation is a process of change, and a sophisticated, ongoing process. Too often we may fall prey to the expectation that a transformation (or a poem) has a beginning, middle, and an end; that this process is not happening until we decide it will start; that this process will come to an orderly conclusion, and that at that time the emerging survivors will live happily ever after.

Transformation is a sometimes messy, chaotic or joyful phenomenon that erupts across every aspect of our lives, impacting how we make sense of the world. It can bring catharsis, purging us of the unwanted and unnecessary. It can occur through a benign catalyst, or wipe out all that came before it.

The 2024 line-up includes:

Michael Aiken
(Emcee), likes combining the joys of single parenthood with managing Garden Lounge Creative Space - a transient specialist poetry enterprise with its origins in Newtown. He is the author of several books, three of which have been published so far. He has written or sung songs for numerous bands and producers, included on recordings by Kirp, The Useful Box, Feick's Device and The Serviettes. His experimental sound works have featured in architectural installations in Karlsruhe, Germany, and on the solo album Canaries.

Fayroze Lutta is a writer, her creative expression take many forms as a zine maker, designer, artist and urban planner. Her writing describes the socio spatial politics, displacement and psycho-spatial politics she witnesses in Sydney. The serious issues and qualities and her experience of living in the ever invaded city of Sydney. Writing about architecture, alienation, anomie and love in Sydney.

Aileen Moka (艾琳/ Ai Lin)is an Australia based Chinese Poet. She is the most well-known and popular poet in Chinese community and a regular head judge of poetry of the Shanghai International Youth Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting Competition.  She holds the esteemed position of Editor-in-chief for the captivating Youth Poetry Art Collection titled "Listening to the Future," a notable best-seller showcased at the 2023 Shanghai International Book Fair. A prolific author, Moka has graced readers with her poetic mastery through works such as "Iris Lovers," "The Mood of Iris," and "Aileen's Poetry."

Phillip Ricketson is a lyricist on the Sydney and Melbourne music scenes for over 30 years as frontman to the Hoo Haas, Frank Sinatra’s Dog and Hucknee Pucknee. Phillip has perfected his unique take on Hillbilly Jazz, his heady twisted guitar, irreverent lyrics and comedic social commentary in which he performs.

The event is presented by Poetry Sydney and the Garden Lounge.

Please note that El Rocco Bar is a CASH-ONLY venue.

Poetry Sydney acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional owners of the land where we live, create, meet and work.
@poetrysydney @gardenloungecreativespace
#poetrysydney #gardenloungecreativespace

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