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‘What Do I Say?’ The Art of Writing Poetry

‘What can I say that I have not said before?’ Asked the Pulitzer winning poet Mary Oliver.

Do you ever wonder how poets can knit words together that are comforting and at the same time unsettling? How can they say so much and evoke such strong emotions while writing so little? Join us for this intimate poetry workshop with Amy Singh, where we will explore these questions and learn the intricacies of different poems. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Appreciation of poetry: the art of reading a poem, understanding its nuances and being aware of how it affects you. 
  • Introduction to poetic devices: how do metaphors, similes, line breaks, and alliterations contribute to poems?
  • Exploration of emotions, senses, observation and imagination: poetry is all around us, but how do we recognize it, welcome it, and embrace it?

Who is Amy Singh? 

 Amy is a young, progressive spoken word poet, an Integral Education facilitator, and a TEDx Speaker. She speaks about love and revolution not only in auditoriums/literature festivals but also in bazaars, parks, and the chaotic bus stations of Punjab. As the founder of Cross Connection Poetry, her goal is to bring more poetry to public spaces and empower marginalised communities. 

Join us on Sunday the 28th of Nov from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm AEDT on Zoom. Only have 12 spots available.

Become a Member

Want to be part of a powerful network of ambitious South Asain women? Join ASAC’s community. 

Here’s what we do for our community: 

  • Create space for South Asian Australian women to be heard, acknowledged and celebrated for all their achievements and impact. 
  • Help you build meaningful connections with values aligned, South Asian women and allies to achieve real outcomes. We create ample opportunities to talk to and connect with like-minded women both locally and globally.  
  • Facilitate community conversations on sidelined yet incredibly important topics such as healing, self-love, activism, empowerment, community, identity, culture and many more.
  • Speak up and call out those in power, who supposedly have our best interests in mind, yet have no real understanding of our lived experiences as South Asian women. 
  • Design practical opportunities and workshops to help you take your professional career to the next level.

Book Club

Our Book Club is an initiative to celebrate female South Asian authors and their stories. This is a safe space to share your experiences and connect with like-minded South Asians. Open to all genders across the world. 

We read select books by South Asian women and meet every 6 weeks to discuss key themes emerging from the book. So far we’ve read See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur, When I Hit you by Meena Kadnasamy and Good Indian Daughter by Ruhi Lees amongst many more. We’ve also had the privilege of having brilliant authors such as Sushi Das and Ruhi Lees join us for an intimate conversation with our book club members.

Our next book is Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted. Join us on the 21st of October to discuss this book.

Australia’s Stellar South Asian Women Series

Despite South Asians being one of the largest ethnic demographics in Australia it’s actually rare to see any real representation of South Asian women in mainstream media, in positions of leadership or in the community/non-profit space. In Victoria alone there are 308 000 South Asian people yet when South Asian women do excellent work, it goes mostly unrecognised. Australia’s Stellar South Asian Women series exists to change that narrative. This series is part of the global South Asian Heritage Month (18 July – 17 August) during which ASAC celebrated and reclaimed the history and identity of South Asian Australians. 

We recognised five exemplary emerging and established South Asian creatives, activists, founders and leaders whose voices and work are a force of good including former Senator Lisa Singh, Sam Wilson (Founder of Sober Mates), Sushi Das (award-winning journalist and author), Leah Vandenberg (Actress and Voice Artist) and Pallavi Sharda (Actress & Activist).

Australia’s Stellar South Asian are not only successful but are generous and supportive of those around them. They live their values through their actions and take a stand, even when it’s not popular. They’re successful but more importantly, they care about the community around them and are paving the way for the next generation of South Asian community leaders.

Australian Indian Digital Creative Festival

The First Australian Indian Digital Creative Festival (AIDCF), showcasing young leaders and creatives in India and Australia across multiple sectors such as leadership, advocacy, poetry, TV & Film and writing.

From March – July 2021 we hosted 4 inspiring events and two competitions to highlight brilliant South Asian women in arts and culture from India and Australia. The aim of the AIDCF was to elevate the voices of young changemakers and inspire the next generation of leaders who have been struggling during these unprecedented times.

Event 1: Using Social Media to Create Change with Moose Jattana (Socio-political Activist & Feminist), Leeza Mangaldas (Sex Positive Educator) and Harsharin Kaur (Co-founder of The Indian Feminist). 

Event 2: Advocacy through Spoken Word Poetry with Amy Singh (Founder of Cross Connection Poetry), Sabika Abbas (Founder of Sar-e-rahguzar) and Harsharin Kaur (Spoken Word Poet). 

Event 3: Amplifying South Asian Voices in TV and Film with Leah Vandenberg (Australian Indian Actress & Writer), Menika Gooneratne (Australian Sri Lankan Actress & Writer) and Saloni Chopra (Actress & Writer). 

Event 4: We Will Write Our Own Stories – South Asian Female Writers and Authors with Sushi Das (Journalist & Author of Deranged Marriage), Alicia Vrajlal (Culture Editor at Refinery29 Aus) and Balli Kaur Jaswal (Author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows). 

Soul House

In June 2021 we wrapped up the South Asian Women’s Wellness Space (pyarfully [with love] we call it the Soul House), Australia’s first dedicated wellness and creative space for South Asian women and non-binary folks. 

Why is it called the Soul House?

It’s called Soul House as Daizy was inspired by a place she stayed at in the Himalayas when she was 19 which has the same name in Hindi. It’s a place where you can feel welcomed, loved and accepted for who you are with no judgment or pressure from anyone. 

What now?

Although we’ll be letting go of the physical space, our community is stronger than ever. We’ll continue our work through the Australian South Asian Centre (ASAC)- our impactful events, workshops, conversations and membership-based community. We focus on amplifying the voices and work of South Asian women and building a strong community grounded in values of generosity, love and a get-things-done attitude. This experience has ignited a fire within us to do something similar in the long-term future, so in the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out for funding opportunities/properties for Soul House 2.0.

We can’t count the exact number but around 1000+ people across the world reached out via Facebook/Instagram about Soul House. Many were women who echoed the sentiment we had when we started “I wish this existed when I went through what I went through.” The donors and volunteers who have come together to help support this have shown us how generosity and seva can make anything possible. 

Featured by ABC and SBS.