Arielle Cottingham

Poets Breakfast and Slam Poetry Jam

United States

She explores the interplay between spoken word and the body, merging elements of dance and physical theatre with written poetry.

Arielle Cottingham is a poet, performance artist and avid dancer out of coastal and South Texas. Born in Houston, raised in League City and schooled in San Antonio, Arielle fell in love with Melbourne and spoken word in 2014 while studying abroad at the University of Melbourne. She returned to San Antonio to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre at Trinity University, during which time she became a regular performer at PuroSlam and The Blah Blah Blah Poetry Spot. In September 2015 she returned to Melbourne expecting to work as a theatrical technician or other field related to her degree. Instead, she found herself drawn further and further into the local poetry circuit and community, which encouraged her budding career as a full-time, working performance poet, as well as creative producer of Slamalamadingdong.

Since moving back to Melbourne, Arielle has performed at a diverse range of events and venues; from open mics to EP launches to protests to fundraisers. Notable feature performances include White Night Melbourne, Soul Lounge Adelaide, Story-Fest Sydney, and Sapologie. Arielle has also featured as a supporting act for fellow Texan poet Bill Moran and for Canadian hip hop artist Xolisa during their respective tours through Australia. She released her first chapbook, The Tarantist's Soapbox, in April 2016, and in October of the same year, she competed in the National Final at the Australian Poetry Slam, where she took first place.

Arielle's writing probes the territory of the personal and the political, dealing heavily with themes of identity, heritage, history, and the roles they play in immediate, everyday interactions. Her performances explore the interplay between the spoken word and the body, incorporating elements of dance and physical theatre to create multidisciplinary pieces that have been described as both elegant and profoundly moving.