Alicia Sometimes seeks out the most exciting spoken word artists in the land for your reading/listening pleasure.


Emilie Zoey Baker is a published award winning poet and slam champion. She has performed poetry all around the world, and is the winner of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival’s Slam!Review. She teaches poetry in both primary and high schools and co-founded OutLoud, the first Australian teen team slam as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. She is also a coordinator of Liner Notes, a spoken word tribute to a classic album now in its seventh year performed also as part of the MWF.


I fell in love with Emilie Zoey Baker an eternity ago* when I saw her perform with her twirly perfect flame hair and her punch in the womb wild words. Originally from Sydney, this spoken wordster quickly and firmly wooed Melbourne and has been a mainstay on the scene ever since. I’ve always admired her boldness and rawness in her work. Whether she is talking pop culture or the loveliness of love or the intricacies of Glee, she is effervescent, commanding, honest and is always thoroughly watchable. Her stamina is enviable too. She writes, she slams, she teaches, she performs, she wins prizes…

* Emilie is a very close friend, so I frame this passionate plea to read her/see her with absolutely no bias at all…



I started falling in love with words when…

It was 1985, I was 10, Madonna was on my tape player and a poster of David Bowie was on my ceiling. The Thin White Duke was the first thing I’d see when I woke up. I was hopelessly in love with everything. It was also the year the movie Mask came out. It’s about a boy with a skull deformity which makes it look like he’s wearing a mask. He falls in love with a blind girl (a super hot, young Laura Dern) who loves him for who he is. I get weird and teary just thinking about it (Cher plays his tough biker mom too – I still have a crush on her for that). Anyway, there’s this scene where he’s teaching Laura Dern colours by putting various objects into her hand – cotton balls for white, ice for blue, a hot meatball for red –  and it was the most poetic thing I’d ever seen, and I thought, “I wanna teach colours to blind girls!”. That was when I knew I was was hooked on the art of life, soon to become poetry.

Poetry (or spoken word) means:

To be able to provide words in situations where other people say, “I have no words”.

Other poets I adore are

My favourites are the accidental poets. I was recently in Mexico where I met a local girl whose English was limited. She described a time when she and her friends walked into a parking area where teens were “making out”. It was apparently pretty hot and heavy and she described it by saying, “Everywhere you looked was like the end of the movie”.

I love the sounds of…

Things clicking into place.

If I could tell you one thing…

Say yes.

Alicia Sometimes is an Australian writer, poet, broadcaster, musician and has toured nationally and internationally with her poetry. She’s also a past editor and long-standing contributor to Going Down Swinging.