Gabrielle “Journey MC” Jones is a Stanmore personality well known for her joyous and action-provoking poetry and good cooking.
Why did you start writing poetry? When did you start performing it?
I’ve always been fascinated by story-telling, poetry and the power that words have to help people feel connected to one another through the expression of shared experiences. I’ve got a poetry collection from my Third Grade in Primary School, so I’ve been writing for almost 35 years. I was involved in a social poetry group in the mid-1990s at university, and we discovered Poets in the Pub in the Campbelltown area. That’s when I first read my own poetry, and since then, audiences have been really supportive of, and interested in the things I have had to say.
Can you tell us a little about your rapping persona MC Journey?
I’ve also been a drummer for 30 years, and this one time at a drumming retreat 12 years ago my friends and I decided to choose names for the weekend that we felt represented where we were at in life, or what we would like to be called. I chose Journey MC to help remind myself to be present everyday through the journey of life. It also relates to the idea of taking listeners on a story-telling journey through my work. As a Social Worker by profession, my spoken word material centres on social justice issues, community connection, feminism, anti-discrimination, as well as the importance of creativity. My rapper persona is perhaps just an extension of my professional ideals – making some noise for social change.
Does your passion for social justice extend to your cooking?
Very much so. I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade, and in the last few months I’ve taken on a vegan diet. Ethically, I can no longer justify eating animal products. It’s not something that I personally need for my survival living in first world society in the Inner West of Sydney.
Who are your favourite people to share a meal with?
I love cooking for my children because they have a fairly basic high carb vegetarian diet – they are 4 and 6.5 years old and constantly growing. The trick is to sneak in secret vegetables they can’t really detect so that they eat everything.
What is a good diet for a writer?
A big part of performing spoken word poetry is to be centred, grounded and present on the stage. It helps me to make sure I haven’t eaten a big meal beforehand as a full stomach can interfere with calm deep breathing and speaking clearly while I’m performing.
What is your food for the soul?
Home made lentil, pumpkin, sweet potato, corn and celery soup – served chunky not blended.
Vegan Banana Chocolate Ice Cream
3 bananas (sliced and frozen)
⅓ cups non-dairy milk (eg almond)
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
1. Slice three large very ripe bananas and freeze for five hours or overnight
2. Put the frozen bananas in a food processor or blender
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/3 cup non-dairy milk. (eg almond, soy or rice milk)
4. Blend the mixture until it resembles soft serve ice cream.
5. When blended add two tablespoons cocoa powder until it’s mixed in. Ready to serve!
Gabrielle Jones will be performing at NSW Parliament House on Wednesday March 16 with 20 other women speakers for Sydney International Women’s Poetry and Arts Festival to mark International Women’s Day.