12-22 AUGUST 2021 View all events

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Unfortunately due to Covid 19 restrictions, we have had to postpone Fireside – GRAN SLAM to the 31 October.

Listen Up! A wild bunch of free-wheeling wordsmiths of wisdom are hitting the stage for a night of slam poetry with a difference.

Hosted by award-winning comedian Jenny Wynter, Gran Slam Live stars a razor-sharp collective of poets between 60- and 99-years young, alongside special literary and music guests.

Special guests include, Matt Hsu, a Taiwanese-Australian composer and musician who will create a one-man ‘Obscure Orchestra’ with instruments and sounds from around the world, providing a one-of-kind soundtrack to cheer on our one-of-a kind poets.

We also welcome David Stavanger, all-round legend of Australian spoken-word and Project Manager at Red Room Poetry alongside Tenzin Choegyal, renowned Tibetan musician and poetic elder himself.  Tenzin will premiere a brand-new piece commissioned by Red Room Poetry reflecting on his journey, wisdom, age and connection to his homeland Tibet from which he has been displaced from since the age of four.

Gran Slam Live promises to be an entertaining night out of musical delights, poetic storytelling, intimate reflections and hilarious insights into life, ageing, freedom, riding skateboards, setting sail into a misty sea of metaphors.


Gran Slam is a project by Everybody NOW! and is part of HOTA’s Fireside series and Bleach* Festival 2021.  Proudly supported by founding partners Feros Care. Gran Slam Live has been supported by Red Room Poetry as part of Australian Poetry Month, an initiative of Red Room Poetry.


 – We Are GC

About the artist

Everybody NOW! is a purpose driven organisation with a vision To Move Communities.

Led by Co-Artistic Directors Ian Pidd, Kate (McDonald) Baggerson and Bec Reid, along with a cohort of talented collaborators, Everybody NOW! are a collective of performance makers and producers who create participatory performance experiences that are celebratory and playful, propelled by passion and curiosity.

The company is dedicated to the creation of high quality, community engaged and participation based performances that are created on and from the Gold Coast, Australia, that reach out to collaborators nationally and internationally.

Jenny Wynter is an award-winning comedian who has performed at festivals and venues all over the world. She got her start training in improvised comedy with some of the greatest teachers in the world including with Second City USA and Loose Moose Theatre in Canada. Her awards include Best Variety Show at United Solo Festival NYC, the Award for Excellence in Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe She won the ABC iView Pitch Perfect Award for her web series concept "Viking Mama!" (based on her live show of the same name), and is a Green Room Award nominee for Best Cabaret Writing. Jenny is a passionate mental health advocate and the founder of Funny Mummies (TM).

Matt Hsu creates a curious world of intricately crafted music, made with odd instruments and rethought everyday objects. His music draws on his Taiwanese-Australian roots, shaped by a childhood stint as a Buddhist monk, touring with Japanese loop ninja Kenta Hayashi, co-founding folk-punk band The Mouldy Lovers, immersion into street jazz in New Orleans, and love of cinematic scores. Matt has composed and performed for TEDx, Brisbane Festival, Bigsound, La Boite Theatre Company, and is a 2020 Queensland Music Award winning composer and multi-instrumentalist for his project 'Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra'.

David Stavanger is an award winning poet, performer, cultural producer, editor and former psychologist with lived mental health experience. His poetry has been widely published in journals, anthologies and newspapers. He is the co-editor of Australian Poetry Journal 8.2 Spoken, Rabbit 27 Tense, The Moth Autumn 2020 (Ireland, first international guest poetry editor) and SOLID AIR: Collected Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word (UQP, 2019.) His newly released collection is Case Notes (UWAP, 2020). David sometimes performs as Green Room-nominated spoken word artist Ghostboy. David was Co-Director of QLD Poetry Festival 2015-2017and is a Senior Project Manager at Red Room Poetry who are supporting Gran Slam LIVE as part of Red Room’s National Poetry Month.

Tenzin is a Tibetan/Australian artist, composer, activist, musical director and cultural ambassador. While proudly continuing the unbroken nomadic lineage which is central to his music, Tenzin also embraces opportunities to take his music into more contemporary, uncharted territory, both in the studio and on stage. Tenzin has nine independent albums and regularly performs with Camerata Chamber Orchestra. His collaborative albums include The Last Dalai Lama? with Philip Glass and the 2021 Grammy-nominated Songs from the Bardo with Laurie Anderson and Jesse Paris Smith – a moving interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. An outstanding composer/ performer with a great depth of musical knowledge, intuition and inventiveness, Tenzin continues to bring together the two worlds of Eastern and Western music in unique compositions, collaborations and special cultural events.

Presented byHOTA, Home of the Arts
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Ticket prices
  • Per person$39
  • Concession$25

HOTA Lakeside Room

HOTA, 135 Bundall RoadSurfers Paradise QLD 4217

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Sunday 31 OctDoors 6pmPerformance 7pm
All times are QLD AEST
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilet
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Important Info
  • Covid Safe
  • Food & beverage available on site
  • Transport options available
  • Licensed venue
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Parking
  • Allocated seating
  • Ticketed
  • Spoken Word

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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Yugambeh Language Region and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People of the Gold Coast. We recognise their continuing connection and contributions to country and culture. We pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.