Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wayang Kata II presents....

Malika Booker in action
Photo courtesy

Wayang Kata II Wed 22, Nov 2006

“While performing her duties as queen,” Jerome Kugan read with a grin, “Cleopatra sometimes wore a fake beard.” This was Odd Spot #155, printed on a strip of waxed paper stuck to a Libra brand pantyliner, which Jasmine Low -- one half of Troubagangers; Jerome’s the other -- had acquired in Sydney.
Jasmine suggested the moral of the story: “If you’re working for Kotex, or a similar company -- maybe this is where local poets could start to get published!” Why not? As I learned from the night’s performers, poetry is about exploring different ways of using words to get very, very personal. This round of Wayang Kata featured poet and playwright Malika Booker, down under the auspices of the British Council -- she stepped onstage and invited us in as guests:

“So to be frank in this living room of mine, I have to go into my love life - It's pathetic. If my mom prays hard for my career choice, oh my god. Her knees are grated out for my love life.”

And frank she was. Malika moved her body and voice along with the emotional language of every piece and followed cues from the audience to adlib her poetry, pandering her past to our attentive voyeurism. With a combination of poetry and personal anecdotes, she quickly won the crowd over, eventually taking off her shoes, still casually reeling us in with her words.

We were hooked before we knew it. The performance of words, the blood, sweat and tears of a poet on display, all leaked into an audience eagerly soaking up her stories. Perhaps we are more ready for pantyliner poetry than we realise. - Lainie Yeoh

Wayang Kata II: An Evening of Spoken Word was co-organised by Troubagangers, a collective that organises poetry readings and music, and the British Council, a cultural emissary. It featured Malika Booker, and local poets Dr Nor Faridah Abdul Manaf, Elaine Foster, Tshiung Han See and Chris Mooney-Singh.

Lainie Yeoh is a student who, somewhat reluctantly, is better known as a blogger.


Malika Booker is a writer, spoken word and multidisciplinary artist, whose work spans literature, education and cross-arts. She will be performing her work and conducting workshops in Klang Valley from 22 to 24 November.

British Council brings another night of Spoken Word, jointly presented for the second time with the Troubagangers featuring performances by Malika Booker alongside several Malaysian writers and poets. Click here to find out the line up and read their biographies.

Date: 22 November 2006
Venue: No Black Tie
17 Jalan Mesui off Jalan Nagasari, KL
Time: 9.00p.m.
Admission: RM5 at the door

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