Past Event19 Feb 2022

Connecting Worlds with Words

No longer available


Special Events

UPDATE 19 Feb, 7pm: We are having some technical difficulties streaming the event to our Facebook page. Please check back soon and watch it here in the meantime! 


In a disconnected world, spoken word has the power to reach out, touch hearts and give purpose.

The physical and social distancing of the last two years has meant that our deeply human need to continue to connect meaningfully with others has forced us online – and made us innovate.

Connecting Worlds with Words is a new grassroots-led spoken word event and collaboration between three major urban public spaces: Fed Square, Bunjil Place and Auckland Live! An international, virtual/live hybrid event creating a unique opportunity for artists from different communities to share stories, connect with audiences and with other like-minded poets.

Through embracing new technologies, the three-venue live virtual-physical hybrid event will activate public urban spaces and celebrate the power of spoken word and story to connect communities across time and space.

Featuring spoken word artists from New Zealand and Australia, each venue will feature live spoken word performances while connecting via livestream to each partner venue, and broadcasting across the ditch.

This first-of-its-kind event is presented by Fed Square, Bunjil Place and Auckland Live in partnership with spoken word collectives Littlefoot and Co, Melbourne Spoken Word and Action Education.

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland poets | Action Education

Sheldon Rua


Sheldon Rua. Young Māori Samoan, multifaceted creative, born and bred in the heart of Papakura, $outh Auckland.

From X Factor NZ, to 3x National HHI champ, to South Auckland Poets Collective and WORD - The Front Line coach/alumni. In his short 23 years of connecting to people over Aotearoa and the world, Sheldon has seen art impact lives in such raw and tangible ways that motivate, energize, and inspire intergenerational change. So, it is within his mahi to recreate this positive energy and breed change in every space he steps into, as he believes everybody deserves to know and access the shine that lies within them. And in perpetuating the shine of our people, we will flourish, forever.


Manaia Tuwhare-Hoani (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai)


Manaia Tuwhare-Hoani (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai) is a young wahine Māori spoken word poet with a passion for storytelling. 

She uses spoken word as a platform to bring unspoken Māori issues and topics to light. She is part of the poetry collective, Ngā Hinepūkōrero. Ngā Hinepūkōrero won the 2018 WORD - The Front Line Poetry Slam in Auckland and the 2018 Trans-Tasman Slam in Melbourne. In 2019 they were the first team from Oceania to compete at Brave New Voices, the largest international youth poetry slam in the world. 

She currently works as the Intern and facilitator for Action Education and was featured in the short documentary Wind Song And Rain.


Takunda Muzondowa


Takunda Muzondowa is a performance artist, musician, speaker, and poet from Zimbabwe, Southern Afrika. 

She is the 2020 Auckland City Poetry Slam Champion and a 2019 Trans-Tasman Poetry Slam Champion. She was the winner of the 2019 Race and Unity Speech Awards and the video of her speech has garnered millions of views. She has performed across Aotearoa and internationally.

Eric Soakai


Eric Soakai is a performance artist based in South Auckland. From the Poutasi, Falealili in Samoa on his Mothers side, and Ha'ato'u, Ha'apai in Tonga.

An award-winning poet, Eric was the 2021 University of Auckland Poetry Slam Champion, 2019 National Slam Poetry Champion of New Zealand, the 2018 Grounded Slam Champion. His work has also been published in Oscen Magazine and will soon be published in the Knowledge Makers Journal Volume V. In 2019 he completed an indigenous artists residency at the Banff Centre of Arts in Canada. His work focuses on exploration of Self, family and culture.


Bunjil Place Poets | Littlefoot & Company

Nyarath Gatkuoth


Nyarath (Na-ra-th) is a winner of Takeover Melbourne for Casey and is a newfound spoken word artist based in the South East. Through her poetry, she hopes to share her experience as a South Sudanese Nuer woman to connect and also inspire others to share their own stories.

Ren Alessandra


Ren Alessandra is a poet and educator based in Naarm. As the 2020 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, she holds her endeavour in sharing the power of spoken word. Wordcraft is the name under which she hosts open mics, workshops and mentoring. Her poetry has been commissioned by Sustainability Victoria, TAFE NSW, Rotary International and many more in the works. Her recent chapbook, Blueprint Body, is a slice of her upcoming collection where she explores overcoming body shame, validation and self-love in all its colours. 

Fed Square | Melbourne Spoken Word

Chiara Gabrielli


Chiara (she/her) is a queer artist living and working on Wurundjeri land, but began her career in Adelaide on Kaurna Land. She has her fingers in many pies working as a performer, writer, poet and recently, a puppeteer.

Chiara is currently a co-producer of Melbourne’s Slamalamadingdong and producing her own online series, #thatswhatshesaidsunday. Her mum is most proud of her work performing in the Ruby Award-winning South Australian State Theatre Company’s production ‘Gorgon’, competing at the Sydney Opera House in the 2017 Australian National Poetry Slam, and being selected as the Adelaide City Library Poet in Residence. A collection of her poetry has been published in the anthology, ‘Spitting Teeth’.

Chiara has loved working with the wonderful humans at ActNow Theatre, FreeRange Theatrix, and Foul Play, and has joined the Windmill Theatre Company as a puppeteer on their new production, ‘Hiccup’. There is also a boy named Bruno Salsicce, who is the two-time winner of Pride Of Our Footscray ‘Draggiest Video Competition’ and often frequents the Rainbow Club House stage. He may look like Chiara in drag, but is just another wog boy trying really hard to be woke.

Thabani Tshuma


Thabani Tshuma is a Zimbabwean writer and performance poet. His work can be found in publications such as Dichotomi magazine and Next in Colour.

Thabani is a co-curator of Thin Red Lines, a 2019 Hotdesk fellowship recipient with the Wheeler Centre, featured author with Djed Press, Slamalamadingdong’s 2019 Grand Slam champion, ranked among the top 50 slam poets worldwide at IWPS 2019, and winner of all major awards at the 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize.

Writing is the aperture through which he views the world and experiences self in relation to others.

Connecting Worlds with Words trailer

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