Since 2019, EWF has collaborated with artist-run collectives to produce a series of events at each festival known as EWF X. This year, three collectives will be participating in EWF X: Thin Red Lines, Schizy Inc and Rosa Press. We invited each collective to answer a couple of quick questions and introduce themselves to the EWF Blog. Meet Thin Red Lines!
How did Thin Red Lines originate, and what is the common thread of the artists in your collective?
Thin Red Lines started by us wishing for a poetry event that was more curated, like a showcase of poetry, rather than an open mic event. We said our wish aloud and a bar offered their venue for free, to try one event and see how it goes. Three years later, here we still are!
Open mic events are so important to building experience with performing and overcoming fear of sharing one’s poetry. But we wanted something that would be interesting and exciting for people who aren’t necessarily writers, who maybe just want to go to a beautiful event and be transformed by poetry.
It’s the same with music, right? You can go to an open mic night for free, or you can pay to see a hot line-up of bands. We wanted to create a space where artists can flex a substantial amount of their work (more than a 5-minute open mic spot).
The common thread of our artists is that they’re all poets, more often than not with radical leanings. (Did you know that the origin of the word radical means ‘root system’? YEAH.) We’re interested in both written and performance poetry and everything in between – we’re obsessed with experimental work. Both being poets on the page and on the stage, we don’t see these as separate disciplines, just different modes of transmission. We like to think of TRL as a little terrarium where art can flourish.
What does community mean to you?
Community is our lifeblood. Community is a rhizomatic social ecosystem. Everything we do relies on community – word-of-mouth, people turning up, the audience really engaging with and participating in our artists’ work, the artists themselves honouring our stage. We both have worked/work as booksellers as well and have our individual arts practices. There is so much crossover with Thin Red Lines, with forming these beautiful nourishing relationships with other artists and supporting each other.
We wouldn’t exist without it. By putting on these events we get to create these singular experiences that folks can hold onto collectively and years from now look back and say “Yeah, I was there, I saw that, it was gorgeous.”
Are there any other events you are looking forward to on the EWF program?
Oh my gosh so many! Obviously ‘Writing the Stars‘. Also ‘Lunchtime Literature: Language and Writing‘, ‘Late Night Literature: Best Bookish Friends‘, ‘EWF X Rosa Press: We Want Everything‘, ‘The Early Words: Poetry and Play‘ and the aural musings of ‘Playlist Haunt’! Can we just link the entire festival program?
What have you been consuming right now? Reading, listening, observing – feel free to be as broad as you like!
Georgia just finished Unlimited Futures, a Blak and black speculative fiction anthology edited by Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neerven. It’s absolutely brilliant. Also, Agnes Whalan’s poetry collection Fucked Up in Paradise, about chess and love and sex and power. Heartbreaking, comforting, suddenly want to practice playing chess.
Thabani’s been in the relentless pursuit of becoming Elden Lord (Playing Elden Ring), it’s a video game of unparalleled depth and breadth and a whole lot of dying. Interactive media is one of those artforms that can mirror life in the strangest most beautiful ways. And Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s poetry collection Clean – a gut punch of truth, healing and rawness, can’t recommend it enough!
We also saw Everything Everywhere All at Once and were absolutely wrecked by how brilliant it is! 2hrs 20min of jaw on the floor!
What we can expect at your event? Where can we learn more about Thin Red Lines?
Expect the unexpected! More often than not we’re surprised by our own events. But you can safely expect to be transformed, in a good way.