Saturday, December 27, 2008

Woodford and Online Interview.

Okay, one of my New Years resolutions is definitely to be a better blogger.
In the meantime I'm about to get on a plane and fly to Queensland to perform at the Woodford Folk Festival! I'm doing two shows with The Mime Set and Emilie Zoey Baker. And a solo spoken word set. These are my last shows with The Mime Set! Which is quite sad.
Also Graham Nunn has started a new blog for which he interviewed me. You can see the interview here.

See you in the new year, a better blogger I will be!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Melbourne launch of my new collection of poetry.


Tomorrow night (Thurs 6th Nov) I'm very proud to say I'll be launching my new collection of poetry titled 'Tattooing The Surface of the Moon'. It's published by Small Change Press. This will also be a very special (and slightly sad occasion) because this will be my very last gig in Melbourne with musical act The Mime Set. We have been collaborating since 2005 and have done many amazing and rewarding shows together. If you've never seen us perform together and have been curious then tomorrow night in Melbourne is your last chance! (Our ultra last gig together will be at the Woodford Folk Festival in QLD over New Years.)
Below is the details of the gig. Hope to see you there.

Launch of Tattooing the Surface of the Moon
A new book of poetry by
Sean M Whelan
With special guests THE MIME SET
Small Change Press is excited to launch it's final title for 2008, Tattooing the Surface of the Moon by acclaimed Melbourne spoken word artist, Sean M Whelan.
Whelan is a writer of poetry, prose, visual poetry and works for performance. His work has been widely published in the likes of Going Down Swinging & Best Australian Poems 2008. In 2007 he was a special guest of the Utan Kayu International Literary Biennale in Indonesia.

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz - New York City Slam Poet Champion - says:
"Haunting, provocative and lavishly surreal, Sean M. Whelan's latest collection of poetry is a glittering stand out."
Special guests: The Mime Set (last Melbourne performance ever!)
Small Change Poets: Graham Nunn & Pascalle Burton
hosted by David Stavanger
Launched by Steve Grimwade (Melbourne Writers Festival, Triple R FM)
8.30pm free entry
Thurs 6th November.
Bar Open, 317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brisbane Launch of Tattooing the Surface of the Moon.

I'm very excited to say that this coming Thursday I'll be launching my brand new book in Brisbane! My publisher, Small Change Press are based in Brisbane so I'm really looking forward to catching up with the two fine poets behind SCP, David Stavanger and Graham Nunn. I'm very grateful for their faith in me.
I have very fond memories of Brisbane from my involvement with the Queensland Poetry Festival and my performance at the Love Poetry, Hate Racism event with The Mime Set. It's also where my friendship blossomed with such golden souls as Mandy Beaumont and Giselle Di Paolo.
The launch is at the Queensland Writers Centre on the 23rd October, 6.30pm.

I'm also performing at the State Library of Queensland on Sat 25th October. This event is the State Final of the National Poetry Slam. I'll be doing a set between the poets slamming it out for their chance to represent QLD at the National Final being held at the Sydney Opera House.

If you're in Brisbane, I hope to see you sometime this weekend.


ps Melbourne launch of Tattooing the Surface of the Moon is on Thursday Nov 6th at Bar Open. More details here soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Confession Files.... in pictures!

Last night was the second performance of The Confession Files. For me personally I felt a bit more relaxed about it all. It's such a nice change to do a repeat performance of a show as so many of the shows I do are for one night only.
Tonight is the last night! So if you're curious about the crimes we're confessing to, then come along!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I can hear my footsteps bounce off the wall.
Change moving in my pocket.

The light
throws my fingertips across the concrete.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Static - Melbourne Writers Festival

Doing a very big show this weekend at The Melbourne Writer's Festival. It's called Static and is a collaborative piece that's been commissioned by those sexy folk at Going Down Swinging. (use many, buy lots.) I'm very lucky to be doing this show with the help of alicia sometimes, Nathan Curnow and musician and good buddy of mine, Quinn Stacpoole. Also it's been a pleasure to be directed by Kieran Carroll. A long time acquaintance but this is the first time we've really worked together.
We've all written separate pieces based on the theme of Static, with Quinn scoring it all. I decided to write my piece about a lion with the face of Harvey Keitel who comes to my door to eat my heart. Now you'll have to come along to see what happens.
This Friday night, at the BMW Edge Theatre in Federation Square.
On the same bill is the highly rated American poet, academic and performer, Tracie Morris. I'm really looking forward to seeing her.
To book tickets go here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pecha Kucha

This Thursday I'm very pleased to be involved in an unusual event called Pecha Kucha. Basically the format of the night is that each presenter is given 6 minutes and 20 frames of images each showing for twenty seconds each. The night first started in Tokyo. I think for the most part the presenters are visual artists or architects, so I think it's unusual for a writer to get the gig. I will be presenting in tandem with the amazing Beck Wheeler. A wonderful visual artist who has been turning my poems into incredible works of art. I'll be reading my story Disappointment is the Evil Bunny of Misery's best friend to a slide show of Beck's art work.
Below are more details of the event.

Pecha Kucha is a night of creative presentation!

eight creative types get 6 minutes of time to present their ideas, designs, stories or artwork over a
slideshow of 20 frames.

20 seconds a frame = six minutes of fame.

on the menue is...
Jeffrey Bernett - NYC based designer - guest of Saturday In Design
Hugo Davidson - Industrial designer
Sarah Parkes - Artist
Steven Cornwell - Graphic designer

Sean M Whelan - Performance poet (with artist Beck Wheeler)
Rory Hyde - Architect + RRR broadcaster
Harald Grundle - Vienna based designer - guest of Saturday In Design
Nathan Gray - Artist + musician

DJ Declan Kelly plays before and after the presentations
Horse Bazaar - providing digital art for your viewing pleasure
BYO business card for door prizes!

Night opens at 6, presentations at 8.

Pecha Kucha is a worldwide thing.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Overload Poetry Festival Opening Night

I'm performing tonight at the opening to the Overload Poetry Festival.
Also joining me on stage will be the following talented indivuals;
Jennifer Harrison
Geoff Lemon
Ella Holcombe
Steve Smart.
The whole evening will be hosted by the wonderful Josephine Rowe.
The gig is at Dantes Restaurant, corner of Napier and Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
Should be a hoot.
Come on down.
Kicks off 8.30pm.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Liner Notes Vol 5. Nirvana's Nevermind!!

I'm proud to say another volume of Liner Notes is about to be unleashed.
Liner Notes is an ongoing series of events that matches Melbournes finest writer/performers to the classic albums of our time.
Liner Notes Vol 5 is a spoken word response to Nirvana's groundbreaking 1991 album Nevermind. The record that broke down the wall between 'alternative' and 'mainstream.'
Twelve tracks - twelve writers respond.

Our line up is....

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Anthony O'Sullivan.
2. Bloom - alicia sometimes.
3. Come As You Are - Paul Mitchell.
4. Breed - Dan Lee.
5. Lithium - Emilie Zoey Baker.
6. Polly - Julez.

1. Territorial Pissings - Ben Pobjie
2. Drain You - Chloe Jackson.
3. Lounge Act - Justin Heazlewood.
4. Stay Away - Kieran Carroll.
5. On A Plain - Sean M Whelan.
6. Something In The Way - Josh Earl.

Hosted by Michael Nolan.

Music by The Heavy Cases (playing Nirvana covers and a set of original tunes.)

Entry by donation!

"Here we are now. Entertain us!"

Bar Open. Thurs July 10. 317 Brunswick St. Fitzroy. 8.30pm.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Love in Bright Landscapes fundraiser tonight!

Hello Friends,

Tonight, at The Corner Hotel, The Mime Set and myself are playing with the great Melbourne lineup of The Blackeyed Susans, Mick Thomas, Chuck Jenkins and The Diving Bell in a night that honours songwriter David McComb, frontman of seminal Australian band The Triffids.

Our friend Jonathan Alley (you may have caught him on RRR on Sunday afternoons) is making a labour-of-love documentary about David's life, work and influence and this gig is a fundraiser for the doco. All the acts are doing songs of or inspired by Dave McComb/The Triffids so it's a great introduction to McComb's body of work for the uninitiated and (hopefully) soulmusic for existing fans.

Tickets are $20 and it's an early one, starting from 6pm. The Corner has great food in the front bar if you're after dinner.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Things To Do With Words

Things to do with words

Deakin University's School of Communication and Creative Arts invites you to a special event: 'Things to do with words'

Thursday 5 June 2008, 11.00 am–3.00 pm

Where: da2.004, KD Stewart Centre,
Deakin University, Waurn Ponds

Admission: Free

Deakin students, high school students and community members are invited to attend this free event to hear guest speakers share advice about careers related to literature and writing.

Guest speakers include:

* Helen Garner (the Geelong-born, multi-award-winning author whose books include Monkey Grip, The First Stone, Joe Cinque’s Consolation and, most recently, The Spare Room);
* Joel Deane (the speech writer for the Victorian Premier and the author of a novel, Another, and two books of poems, Subterranean Radio Songs and Magisterium); and
* Agnes Lindop (a Deakin graduate and publicity manager at Penguin).

The event will also feature a special spoken-word performance, Sweet Cowboy, by the award-winning Melbourne performance poets Emilie Zoey Baker and Sean Whelan.

For further information on this event please contact: Dr Maria Takolander on email

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Liner Notes Vol 4: A spoken word tribute to The Cure!

Liner Notes is coming back at ya.
Q. What is Liner Notes?
A. Poetic responses to iconic albums of our time.

One writer is chosen for each track and asked to respond whatever way they like.

Vol 1 was David Bowie's Hunky Dory
Vol 2 was The Velvet Underground & Nico
Vol 3 was Madonna's Like A Virgin

and now Babble is proud to present Vol 4
The Head on the Door by The Cure!

Side A
1. In Between Days - Mandy Beaumont.
2. Kyoto Song - alicia sometimes.
3. The Blood - Dan Lee.
4. Six Different Ways - Emilie Zoey Baker.
5. Push - Klare Lanson.

Side B.
6. The Baby Screams - Ben Pobjie.
7. Close To Me - Montrice Shumpert.
8. A Night Like This - Sean M Whelan.
9. Screw - Marc Testart.
10. Sinking - Chloe Jackson Willmott.

Hosted by Three Imaginary Michael Nolans.

House band is The Heavy Cases providing their own unique interpretations of Cure classics.

Entry by donation!

Thursday 15th May
Bar Open, Fitzroy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Australian Poetry Centre Festival

On Saturday night I'll be performing Sweet Cowboy with Emilie Zoey Baker at the first Australian Poetry Centre festival in Castlemaine.
We're performing on Sat 26th April at the Phee Broadway Centre.
See for the full program.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blue Velvet Bar Reading

This Thursday night I'm performing at the Blue Velvet Bar in Collingwood.
The convenor of this event, the esteemed Geoff Lemon has written a wonderful little blurb about the whole event.
So I'll let him sell it for me....

Yes, after the dwarf month of February it's that time again. Velvet time! Which is much like Hammer time. But softer. And easier to upholster furniture with. This month we have:

Ben Pobjie
One of the literal and metaphorical giants of the Melbourne performance arena, Ben wavers between spoken word, stand-up, and storytelling, much like our revered Blue Velvet sensei, the honourable Crazy Elf. You will be half delighted, half horrified. In which case you may wish to block one ear.

Chenoah Ellis
is Canadian. Don't get that mixed up. Especially with that weird little country just south of there. Seriously, don't. It will be bad for your health. She is a deliciously fresh new voice in a choir of otherwise boring old cadavers who don't so much sing as make semi-tonal flatulent noises when build-ups of gas escape from holes in their carcasses.

Ben Ezra
has mercifully escaped from the awful, trashbag clutches of Sydney, NSW. With styles that range from tongue-twisting hip-hop wordplay to gravel-sung blues explosions, who knows what he will bring? And who cares? Just take what the man gives you and be grateful! When I were a boy...

Sean M. Whelan
The poet laureate of my mind. Known for his spoken word fusion project with rock band The Mime Set, Sean is one of the most distinctive and charming voices currently weaving tales in this country. His poems are stories - elegant, surreal, meticulously crafted, and always softly beautiful. When he's reading, there is nowhere else that you should be.

Come on down. You can't afford to miss it. As ever, bring your friends, as many as you can. If they hate it, I'll offer some obscenely biological forfeit in the adjoining alleyway. Now that's a guarantee. Forward this mail on to people who might be interested, send me names of people who want to be on the mailing list, and all the rest of that fine, fine jazz.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Poets Breakfast at the Shepparton Arts Festival

This Saturday morning at the unlikely time of 8:30 am I will be performing with my good friend Terry Jaensch at the Poets Breakfast as part of the Shepparton Arts Festival. If you happen to be in Shepparton at 8:30 Saturday morning, then please swing by the Spaghetti Hollow restaurant in Wyndham St and join me and Terry for a good stiff cup of coffee.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hey, Hey, Which Way?

The above illustration was created by an incredible Melbourne based artist by the name of Beck Wheeler. It was based on my poem, 'Dear Elliott, written on the death of American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith.
Beck has been doing works based on my poems for about a year now, after we randomly met each other through MySpace.
This Tuesday night, the 4th March, an exhibition of Beck's work will be opening at the Uber Gallery. The work above will be part of the exhibition, amongst many other wonderful pieces.
I've also been asked to read my poem Dear Elliott at the opening.

Uber Gallery is at 52 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.
'Hey, Hey, Which Way?' opens on Tuesday the 4th March at 6:30pm.
The exhibition runs until the 30th March.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Liner Notes Vol 3. In pictures!

Last Wednesday Babble hosted the third volume in the Liner Notes series. Liner Notes is a series of readings I founded which are spoken word tributes to iconic albums of our time.
It began in 2006 for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, the first volume of Liner Notes was in tribute to David Bowie's Hunky Dory album.
Then in 2007, again for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, The Velvet Underground's 'Banana Album' was given the Liner Notes treatment.
The nights have been so successful I've decided to run them more often than just once a year for Fringe.
The concept is simple, match a writer to each track on the album and ask the writer to respond in any way they like.
Mostly the responses are in a poetic form, but there's also monologues and comedic approaches.
I'm pleased to say that this last volume of Liner Notes was the best ever!
The quality of work was astounding. Not just from the writers but also from the house band for the night, The Heavy Cases. Their unique takes on Madonna classics were brilliant.
The host of the evening, Michael Nolan, was in excellent form and educated us about Madonna in ways I didn't think were possible.
In the past Liner Notes have always been one night only, but Vol 3 was such a great success that I am thinking seriously of a return performance of this one sometime in the near future.
In the meantime we do have another Liner Notes booked for early May.
Which album?
Well, I have a few in mind, but I'm keeping it under wraps... for now.

Michael Nolan our glorious host.

Phil Norton responding to Material Girl

alicia sometimes takes on Angel

Chloe Jackson reclaims Like A Virgin

Ben Pobjie turns Over and Over on its head.

Sean M Whelan does Love Don't Live Here Anymore

The Heavy Cases and Michael Nolan sing up a storm

Steve Smart reinterprets Get Into The Groove

Emilie Zoey Baker takes us through Material Girl, on tape!

Dan Lee tells it like it is - Shoo-Bee-Doo!

David Prater is the Pretender

Terry Jaensch takes us home pleading us to Stay.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Babble presents Liner Notes Vol 3 - Madonna's Like A Virgin!

It's time for Liner Notes Vol 3 at Babble this Wed the 20th Feb.
Liner Notes is an original concept first started by Babble for Melbourne Fringe in 2006.
Here's how it works, a classic iconic album is chosen. Then for however many tracks there are on the album an equal amount of writers are also chosen. Then they're randomly assigned to their tracks. After that their mission is to respond to their allocated track in whichever way they see fit.
Liner Notes Vol 1 - David Bowie's Hunky Dory.
Liner Notes Vol 2 - Velvet Underground's 'Banana Album.'

And now presenting Liner Notes Vol 3 - Madonna's Like A Virgin.

Here's the lineup.

Madonna - Live A Virgin.

Side A

1. Material Girl. – Phil Norton
2. Angel. – Alicia sometimes
3. Like A Virgin - Chloe Jackson Wilmott
4. Over and Over – Ben Pobjie
5. Love Don't Live Here Anymore – Sean M Whelan

Side B

6. Into The Groove – Steve Smart
7. Dress You Up – Emilie Zoey Baker
8. Shoo-Bee-Doo – Dan Lee
9. Pretender – David Prater
10. Stay – Terry Jaensch

Also helping out with deconstructed Madonna covers and a healthy dose
of their own originals will be The Heavy Cases!

The whole shebang is hosted by the irrepressible Mr Michael 'Material
Boy' Nolan.

Where: Bar Open Upstairs, 317 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
When: Wed 20th Feb.
What time: 8:30
How much: $7 entry.

One show only! Don't miss out!