Miles Merrill - Creative Director
Originally from Chicago (birthplace of slams), Miles is a writer, performer, facilitator and event coordinator who combines poetry with theatre, experimental audio, hip-hop beats, stand-up and, occasionally, political confrontation. Miles introduced poetry slam to Australia, co-wrote and co-directed Slamming for the Sydney Festival and performed with UK DJ Billy Bizniz at the Sydney Opera House. Internationally, Merrill has performed in Krakow’s Audio Art Festival, and writers festivals in Bali, Beijing, Vancouver and Calgary. He’s the ideas and meetings person.
Zoe Backes - Head of Operations
Head of Operations (read: turns Ideas into solid forms).
Zoe Backes has 20 years of diverse professional experience in the arts and related industries. She cut her teeth freelancing in production roles – she undertook stage management for many amazing Belvoir productions, worked with Griffin, Ensemble nd many others, toured shows extensively and even coordinated production for the City of Sydney’s New Years Eve Celebration’s in 2000. Subsequent experience has been in business management, administrator and events roles ABC Radio Sydney & NSW, the University of Sydney, Currency Press, Arts NSW and at NSW Parliament. Zoe has Bachelor’s degree in Technical Production from NIDA, a Master of Management in Arts Management from UTS and she is currently undertaking a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at UNSW.
Emily Crocker - Education Officer
Emily Crocker is a poet and student from south-west Sydney. She has since found a home in the Wollongong spoken word community, and has performedwith Wollongong Writer's Festival and at The Vault Cabaret. Her work can be found in various Australian journals including Southerly, Verity La, Cordite, Seizure and Voiceworks. Her poem Swarm was shortlisted in the 2015 Judith Wright Prize.
Charlotte Tai - Event Videographer / Editor
Charlotte Tai is a film director, writer and media producer at Storycentric Films. Currently she is majoring in Media Arts Production and Journalism in her Bachelor of Communication at Western Sydney University.
Her industry experience to date includes completing two news internships at the ABC (‘7.30’ & ‘Lateline’), writing a combination of arts reviews, articles, interviews and poetry for the South Sydney Herald, The AU Review and W'SUP, in addition to working as a video producer for the Western Sydney Refugee Association.
With an immersive passion for storytelling, Charlotte puts this energy into creating media content for Word Travels.
Ansel Wakamatsu - Multimedia & Social Media Co-ordinator
Ansel Wakamatsu is a director, writer, editor, and photographer currently studying Creative Writing and Media Production at the University of Technology Sydney. He has worked with Men In This Town and Amnesty International Australia, and oversees the Australian Poetry Slam 2016 video series at Word Travels.