Creative Womyn Down Under 

Gabrielle
Journey
Jones

GABRIELLE  JOURNEY  JONES


Photo by Saba Vasefi, Sydney International Women's Poetry and Arts Festival 2016, NSW Parliament House.

Gabrielle Journey Jones is a co-Founder and CEO (Creativity Encouragement Officer) of Creative Womyn Down Under, a community initiative since 2006 in Sydney which helps to connect women and creativity. Gabrielle has been passionate about using spoken word performance poetry and drumming to raise social issues for over 20 years. 

During this time, Gabrielle has also been involved with many not-for-profit community organisations and government agencies across Australia in her professional role as a Social Worker. She has developed many interesting ways to incorporate creativity into social work projects.

2017 has already been a year of dynamic community collaborations. Gabrielle joined the Red Room Company to deliver poetry workshops in schools in NSW. Red Room is committed to making "poetry a meaningful part of everyday life".   Gabrielle also became a member of the South Coast Writers Centre  Committee of Management.  She has been involved in many SCWC projects over the last few years, and is contributing her specialist knowledge of community organisational governance to the work of the Committee. 


Creativity as social, political and personal action is the cornerstone of Gabrielle’s work as a Poet and Percussionist.  She plays the djembe and other percussion instruments with her trio Tranceportation, and is a regular musician at Sydney Spiritfest gatherings as well as guest performances with other world music groups. Gabrielle has been facilitating drum circles and workshops since 2002 with Zangdrum.

Gabrielle has shared her poetry and drumming on open mics and by invitation at local, national and international events including Newtown Festival; Cruelty Free Festival Sydney; Live & Original at Mr Falcons, The Corridor and Lazy Bones; Red Rattler Theatre; Caravan Slam Marrickville and poetry slams at Glebe, Parramatta and Bankstown; Women Writes Movement and Sydney Writers’ Festival circles; International Women’s Day; International Day for People with Disability; Reclaim the Night; Woman Scream International Poetry Festival;  National Folk Festival; Michigan Women’s Music Festival; Heartland Chicago; The Happening, Catskills New York.

Gabrielle was born on Gadigal Country, Sydney and is from Maori and African American cultural heritage.  Intersectional feminism underpins a lot of Gabrielle’s spoken word poetry and rap. She shares her experiences and positive, proactive thoughts challenging the many levels of oppression facing women due to gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability and sexual identity inequalities.  Gabrielle also writes about creativity, love, spirituality, friendship, family and her children.  Her first published collection of poetry "Spoken Medicine" will be officially released in 2017 by Ginninderra Press.

View the schedule of Gabrielle's performances 2015 to present below.

The video below is Gabrielle’s “Spoken Medicine” poem at the Glebe Heat of the Australian Poetry Slam, 4 October 2016 filmed by Marcela Del Sol.



Spoken Medicine

I only leave home for poetry.
Spoken medicine is a necessity.
The words we all breathe
That we bleed
Help us to remember
We are connected.


Spoken Word Psychiatrists 
In this spotlight holding up a mirror
For the calculated seeping in of triggers
Resurrecting filtered reflections on long forgotten feelings
Purified through the invocation of powerful lyrics.


Voices uncaged in a public forum leaking deepest secrets
To elicit inner peace and integrate the hidden 
Pieces of ourselves we all seek to meet with
Slippery fragments of our soul 
Lost within the psychological walls we build
Strong walls that we claw 
When we cannot imagine a door anymore.


Shell-shocked from the ceaseless 
horrifying noises of internalised war
That no-one else ever hears 
And even stitched-mouth silence ignores.


Until a venue is hired 
Because someone inspired decided to organise.
A cover charge is paid, stamp laid on the wrist and displayed
Like a medal of valour that will not be washed off for days
In hopes to keep the night close, as the insights and ink fades.


Every Poet to approach this mic centre stage
Is a Word Doctor, a Shaman, a Sage!
Administering spoken medicine
Line after line injected into a hungry audience.


Wordsmith Physicians bringing to life, distilling life.
Prescribing the pharmaceutical benefits of poetry
Dispensed regularly to heal and build immunity
We deliver each verse surgically
And apply the welcoming balm 
Of spoken word community.

I only leave home for poetry.

© Gabrielle Journey Jones







Freedom Rap


Freedom vibrates like the sound of my drum
Freedom vibrates like sound (like sound).

My drum represents my heartbeat
and since I’m alive then I have to be free
I’m going to live free from the shackles of society 
that try to stifle me, that’s my birthright you see!

But I don’t take freedom for granted.
No I don’t take freedom for granted!

Granted I’ve been granted many wishes that I’m grateful for
always had what I needed, and mostly more
but the Freedom of Spirit can’t be bought
it takes love and self-respect
this can be hard fought, it takes heart force
just like the Freedom Fighters who have gone before
Just like the Feminists who still battle for more.

You and I may not have a Nobel Peace prize 
but when we honour ourselves
we can feel the noble peace rise!

That’s how freedom begins

like a spark of love from deep within

Rising – Empowering – Inspiring!

So, what are we free to do?

End discrimination / all forms of abuse /and soul incarceration.
Erase racism, homophobia / and sexist connotations /religious segregation.
Vote against oppression / eliminate aggressive politics / impeach senseless politicians.

Make way for the musicians! Poets and magicians!
Womyn with vision in leadership positions!
People with a passion for peaceful interactions!

Actively engage in conversations.
Gather information and convey your observations.


The courageous are not allied with silence.

Poets are not allied with silence. 

The South Coast Writers Centre is not allied with silence. 

We participate, communicate, actively engaged in the world wide
campaign to transform hate! Replacing ignorance with education;

We are the watchers weaving words into action
We are the watchers leaving words for revolution.


The courageous are not allied with silence
that’s why freedom vibrates 
like the sound of my drum.
Freedom vibrates like sound.

© Gabrielle Journey Jones





   

Weightless

I soaked my body in the ocean
and the waves carried my worries away with tide

I soaked my body in the ocean
and the water held me as I floated, weightless

Thoughts washed through me, whispering at first:
Why don’t all womyn feel weightless? What’s holding us down?

We long to be weightless
we want to wait less time
to experience oppression on hiatus

To be, to breathe - safe in our bodies
treated with equality, respected like Queens

Especially when womyn are expecting
there’s no greater need than to avoid the debris
that prevents us from simply floating stress-free
through the journey of a pregnancy

However, strangers pat bellies and share unwanted anecdotes
professionals are paid to test and prod and poke
they weigh and measure babies the same way they judge the mothers
and if they find us wanting, we must be willing to follow their advice
to smile and make nice or jeopardise a peaceful life
free from Government intervention
once again, weightlessness is the price

Womyn are not encouraged to listen to our intuition 
this is the beginning of the creeping questions
the self-doubt and guessing
even though the new life that we carry is a blessing 
medical model won’t stop messing with our minds
projecting little mental missiles inside the messaging 

Mothers must rely on others
form institutional co-dependencies
and forget that we know best
that our maternal love is fearless!

Forget the TRUTH!
just like the precious babies in the oceans of our wombs
we ARE weightless.

© Gabrielle Journey Jones





Flowetry
Flowetry !!  Be in the flow / Be in your flow / be the flow
Change takes time / so take your time / time brings change / be the flow

Spinning on my heels waiting for change / that’s not going to come / if I'm not changing my ways / if I'm enabling inaction to determine my fate / forget letting others have a free reign / life rots in a haze / people pleasing as my soul is willingly given away / it’s no place to stay / no safety in place / replacing fear with self-love / I'm bringing courage and grace / so get out of my way / GET out of my way / I'm breaking old habits / watch me throw them away / a  day at a time / that’s all that it takes / by my side my family and great mates / I'm the narrator, creator of my present day / I'm the change-maker / the destiny-raker / the orchestrator of happiness /  it's my bliss and my wager / I bet on myself / all the way to make it!  I've undertaken to become the uncager / of unnecessary misery / setting free negativity / and other people's unacceptable behaviours / I don't need a saviour to save me / claim me / change me / chain me / I'm discerning burning bridges with my intuition / using all six senses to eradicate suspicions of narcissism / scrutinizing those invited / into my life / don't always get it right / but change takes time / yes / change takes time / so take your time / time brings change / be in the flow / be in your flow / be the flow – flowetry.

(c) Gabrielle Journey Jones




Poetry What ??

When I say “Poetry” you say “What?”

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

So write and don’t look back!!

Never look back and be tempted to hoard your words away

Inside a trophy cabinet, Let them roam about
motivating you to run after the most striking ones

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

Run from the words

That reach out with barbed hands

Not satisfied simply to choke

Wanting to scar, permanently.

Run towards the kinder words

Like a checklist of love

In calligraphy on heart-shaped paper.

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

Run a long distance marathon

Waving your free verse at spectators as you pass by

Hi-five the loyal ones who show up at every race

To celebrate 42.2 kilometres of your creativity.

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

Run yourself a bath

Relax as the louder conversations of the day fade

Allow your poetry to percolate

Let new combinations of old words claim their space.

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

Run head on as a way of being
Use language to smash through

The Illusion of separateness

Be the first one to smile at strangers

Welcome them with well-crafted words
Spoken as if you were already friends

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

Run away with your poetry

Don’t let the seduction

Of grammatically correct literary constructions

Restrict your flow!

Breathe your poetry like oxygen.

POETRY ! (What?)  Needs no invitation  POETRY ! (What?) Needs no permission

So write and don’t look back!! Never look back and be tempted to hoard your words away.

(c) Gabrielle Journey Jones


Performances & Workshops 2017 

Gabrielle’s poetry performances will be posted on the Creative Womyn Down Under Facebook page. The events below are in New South Wales, Australia, unless otherwise noted.


* Photo by Rashmii Ravindran at Word in Hand, Glebe 01 August 2017



08 December - South Coast Writers Centre Xmas Party, Arts Precinct Wollongong
"Spoken Medicine" poetry anthology book launched by Friederike Krishnabhakti-Vasilakis, Director South Coast Writers Centre


12 November -
Newtown Festival, Writers Tent (guest poet), Camperdown.  

"Spoken Medicine" poetry anthology book launched by Karen Walsh, President Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, with Amalina Wallace, Secretary Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and "Spoken Medicine" book cover artist.

11 November - Viva La Gong, South Coast Writers Centre stage, Wollongong


22 October - South Coast Writers Centre "Spoken Medicine" Workshop (facilitator) Project Contemporary Arts, Wollongong

14 October - Word Travels Storyfest, Sydney:  Queerhyme and Feminism in Poetry Panel


06 October - Private event: Spoken Word, Bega


01 October - Yours and Owls Festival, Enough Said Poetry crew, Wollongong

26 September - Warrawong Library Spoken Word Workshop by Lorin Reid. 
Guest poet

08 September - Feminist utopias: past, present and imagined. Australian National University, Canberra.  Presentation and Spoken Word

02 September - Private event: Spoken Word and drumming, Pokolbin

01 - 02 September -  22nd Womyn's Retreat, Pennant Hills

29 August - Red Room Workshops Northern Beaches Christian School Writers Festival, Years 5 and 6, Terrey Hills

25 August - Thirroul Readers and Writers Festival Sideshow "Drums and Rhymes Children's Workshop" at Thirroul Public Library

12 August - Private event: Spoken Word, Thirroul

09 August - Children's Book Council of Australia Illawarra-South Coast Branch, Primary School's Literary Lunch (guest speaker)

01 August - Word in Hand Poetry Slam (feature), Glebe

27 July - Enough Said Poetry Slam 5th Birthday (feature), Wollongong

26 July - South Coast Writers Centre "Word Salad" Launch Open Mic (winner), Wollongong

22 July - Private event:  Spoken Word & Drumming Workshop, Sydney

15 July - Queer Arts Festival Open Mic, Wollongong

06 July - Badgirl Garden iv (feature), Sly Fox, Enmore

01 July - The Lab Cabaret "Snowed In" hosted by Circus Monoxide, Wollongong

17 June - Private event:  Drumming Workshop, Berry

04 June - Unspoken Words: a festival of stories. Workshop and panel discussion on participation in creative communities; and  spoken word performance. Red Rattler Theatre, Sydney

01 June - Badgirl Garden 3.0  (rap freestyle open mic), Sly Fox, Enmore

01 June - Caravan [Poetry] Slam June goes Vivid,Camelot Lounge (open mic) Marrickville

01 June - The Red Room Company: Annandale Public School. Facilitator of "The Disappearing" Workshops for Years 3 & 4. Sydney

28 May - Rocket Readings, Sydney Writers Festival and South Coast Writers Centre, Wollongong Art Gallery (open mic, runner up)

27 May - Wollongong Live and Local: Sydney Writers Festival 2017. Workshop: "Soapbox Skills Performance Poetry" and "Spoken Medicine" performance. Hosted by Wollongong Town Hall and South Coast Writers Centre. Wollongong Town Hall

25 May - Enough Said Poetry Slam, Jane's Café (open mic) Wollongong

13 May - Private event: Spoken Word, Bega

22 April - Private event: Spoken Word, Sydney

11 April - Hope Stayz Retreat for Women: Frame drumming workshop. Crosslands, Galston

01 April - Little Joe's Aprils Fools Open Mic Cabaret (Feature), Dapto

25 March - Merrigong's Made From Scratch Performance Night (Feature) with Cash. The Lounge, Wollongong

20-21 March – The Red Room Company Poetry Week “The Disappearing” Workshops and Poetry Slam, Oxley College, Burradoo Years 7 -11 (Co-Facilitator) with Lorin Reid

19 March - Symphony Exhibition: Ekphrasis - Writing About Art Poetry Workshop (Facilitator), presented by the South Coast Writers Centre at Project Contemporary ArtSpace, Wollongong

18 March - Symphony Exhibition Performance Night: Poetry & Paint Project Performance with Artist Julia Jacobs.  Project Contemporary ArtSpace, Wollongong

08 March - South Coast Writers Centre's International Women's Day Power Voice (Open mic) Wollongong

26 February - Private event (Feature): Spoken Word, Wollongong 

25 February - ACON's Welcome to Breastiville Festival. Awareness raising for breast health. Frame drumming and rap workshop facilitator, Marrickville, Sydney.

24 February - Aurora STYLE aGender Mardi Gras Fashion Parade (Community Model),Sydney

01 February - Wild Words Open Mic Poetry Night (Host), Frank's Wild Years, Thirroul

18 January - A Night of Stories (Host) Frank's Wild Years, Thirroul

18 January – Children’s Book Week, Beats and Rhymes Workshop for Kids, South Coast  

07 January – Sydney Summer Spiritfest “Revolution Within” Poetry Workshop, Lane Cove Park

06 January – Sydney Summer Spiritfest Opening Night Concert (Feature), Lane Cove National Park 

04 January - Inaugural Wild Words Open Mic Poetry Night (Host and Feature), Frank's Wild Years, Thirroul



Performances 2016

29 December – Bucket Lounge Celebrates 2016 (Feature) with Cash, Lazy Bones Club, Sydney.


17 December – Private Event (Feature), Inner West Sydney.


09 December – 
Jilamaruwi Fundraiser Party for Sistergirls from Tiwi Islands Northern Territory (Feature), Sydney. 

01 December - South Coast Writers Centre 
Gala Dinner (Feature), Thirroul.

30 November - Spoken Vibes (open mic and freestyle), Louis Hotel, Sydney.

24 November - Enough Said, Poetry in Wollongong Slam (Support Feature), Jane's Cafe.

11 November - Private Poetry Event (Feature), East Sydney.

27 October - Enough Said, Poetry in Wollongong Slam (Winner), Jane's Cafe.

22 October – Spoken Medicine Poetry Workshop for World Aids Day, Wollongong.

16 October – Village Variety ReVue with Cash. Wonoona Bulli School of Arts.

14 October – Australian Poetry Slam, Sydney Slam Finals, Walsh Bay.

07 October – Say It Sing It (Feature Poet) Hide Away Cafe, Wollongong.

04 October – Australian Poetry Slam, Glebe Heat (Runner Up). Friend in Hand Hotel.

30 September  – Katherine Vavahea "Mama's Soul Kitchen" CD Launch. Lewisham Hotel.

07 September – “Celebrating Poetry” Poetic License Week, September 3-12, Thirroul Library: 5pm, 
                          Enquiries: Peta Moss pmoss@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

03 September – Alice Springs Pride Carnivale, Fair Day, Snow Kenna Park & Party, Northern Territory 

26 August – Sabrina Soares Friday Night Residency, Kent Street Café, Sydney

14 August – “Poetry in Commotion”  Radio Skidrow live with Cash, Marrickville

12 August – “Say it Sing it” South Coast Writers Centre Open Mic (Winner). Wollongong Mall 

11 August – “Spoken” Poetry Circle.  Lentil As Anything, Newtown 

04 August – “Caravan Slam” Django Bar (Feature Poet).   Marrickville 

28 July – “Katherine Vavahea & Friends” Lazy Bones Lounge, Marrickville
Rhythm And Poetry (RAP) with Cash 

16 July – “Women Writes Movement” Women’s Library, Newtown

12 June – Private party concert.  Bulli

05 June – “Poets in the Pub - Republican Bar Poets” North Hobart, Tasmania

28 May - Winter Spiritfest Concert.  Ballina

07 May – Untaymable CD Launch - Freestyle Cipher. 

17 April – “Art Captures Art” The Corridor, Newtown

16 April  – “Women Writes Movement” Women’s Library, Newtown

28 March – 50th National Folk Festival: Poets Breakfast.  Canberra

27 March – 50th National Folk Festival: Bad Slam No Biscuit Poetry Slam (Winner).  Canberra

26 March – 50th National Folk Festival: Poets in the Round.  Canberra

16 March – Woman Scream: International Poetry and Arts Festival.  NSW Parliament House

08 March – Lesbian Open House International Women’s Day.   Women’s Library, Newtown

07 March – All Shades of Voices: Bondi Poetry.  Brew and Bun Café, Bondi Junction

04 March – International Women’s Day Exhibition Wollongong.  Wollongong Art Gallery

27 February – Women Writes Movement 2016 Launch Women’s Library, Newtown

26 February – Rebellious Words: Queer Provocations Festival. Red Rattler, Marrickville

25 February – Katherine Vavahea & Friends. Lazy Bones Club, Marrickville

23 February – Bankstown Poetry Slam. Bankstown Arts Centre


Performances 2015

20 December 2015 – Art Sparks: Poetry and Paint Project Showcase. The Women's Library, Newtown

10 November 2015  – Parramatta Slam, Shh Centre 4 Hybrid Arts (Feature Poet). Parramatta

27 October 2015 – Live & Original, Bucket Lounge, The Corridor with Cash. Newtown

28 October 2015 – “The Master’s Tool Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House” Gender Institute Forum, Australian National University, Canberra 

06 October 2015 – NSW Poetry Slam, Friend in Hand, Glebe

27 August 2015 – Caravan Slam, Django Bar (Winner). Marrickville 

24 July 2015 – Caravan Slam, Django Bar (Slam Runner Up). Marrickville  

05 March 2015 - Slammin Stigma International Women's Day Event (Feature Poet), South Coast Writer's Centre Wollongong Art Gallery


Contact
Gabrielle Journey Jones
Mobile 0400 619 868

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