Spoken word events in Toronto, January 2013
Happy New Year one and all! No doubt you had an amazing experience ringing in 2013, and now, the locals are restless once again--at least the poetry locals, who have a full agenda of performance magic on deck for the first month of the New Year. Some may not know this, but the spoken word on offer in Toronto is some of the best you can see anywhere in this country. Here's another 30 days' worth for all the aficionados out there.
WORDSPELL SPOKEN WORD / JANUARY 2 / 8:30PM / FREE TIMES CAFÉ / $6 AND UP (PWYC SLIDING SCALE)
Lillian Allen, the Juno Award-winning dub poetry legend, headlines the third bi-monthly edition of this showcase of women's voices. She is joined by up-and-coming actor/chanteuse/poet Emilee Nimetz. The show is hosted by Cathy Petch, and will also include an open mic reserved for women sharing their words.
THE ROOTS LOUNGE OPEN MIC & POETRY SLAM (INAUGURAL SCARBOROUGH EDITION) / JANUARY 6 / 7PM / YVONNE'S COFFEE HAUS / $5
Up From The Roots Entertainment opens up the east end of the GTA for poetry slam with this new show. The Roots Lounge is Ontario's longest running slam and the new Scarborough show makes it a twice-monthly series. Poets and slam fans from Durham Region no longer have to go all the way downtown, as the Scarborough slam will take place on the first Sunday of every month.
REGIE CABICO @ Q SPACE / JANUARY 12 / 7:30PM / Q SPACE / PWYC
American spoken word stalwart Regie Cabico comes north of the border for a night of what promises to be wild antics, hilarious repartee and tremendous poetry. Partnered with local luminaries David Bateman and Cathy Petch, there's no doubt this show will be a memorable one.
TORONTO POETRY SLAM / JANUARY 12 / 8PM / THE DRAKE HOTEL / $5
The city's biggest slam series starts off their 2013 schedule with a visit from Abdominal & The Obliques. Their new CD, Sitting Music, is a treat to the ears that will certainly get the show jumping at the Drake. Here's a sample of one of their new tracks as seen on Exclaim! TV:
ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS LISA SLATER / JANUARY 16, 17, 23 & 24
The OSWC is a consortium of five spoken word groups that stage monthly spoken word events in London, Guelph, Hamilton, Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto and York Region. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, they will bring a high-profile artist each month to perform at the venues on the circuit. This month the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and Unionville native Lisa Slater visits from Vancouver. She appears at Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (January 16), Burlington Slam Project (January 17), YorkSlam Canadian Indies Qualifier (January 23) and We Flip Tables! @SaugaSlam (January 24).
WHEN SISTERS SPEAK / JANUARY 26 / 8PM / ST. LAWRENCE CENTRE FOR THE ARTS / $38-48 Dwayne Morgan hosts the 13th annual spoken word concert of Black female poets, featuring Toronto poets Amani, Britta B. and Jemeni, New York's Tantra, Miami's Rai Renea, and the return of d'bi young. If you've never seen this Dora Award-winning talent, you are truly missing out.
OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS
Portobello / January 5 / 1:30pm / Portobello Restaurant & Bar / free
Sunday Poetry / January 6, 13, 20, 27 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free
R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / January 7, 14, 21, 28 / 6pm / Scarborough Youth Resource Centre / $2
Loose Leaf Poets & Writers / January 7, 14, 21, 28 / 7pm / Fogarty's / free
The Art Bar Poetry Series / January 8, 15, 22, 29 / 8pm / Q Space / PWYC
Acoustic Soul Tuesdays / January 8, 22 / 8pm / Lambadina Lounge / $5 before 8pm; $10 after 8pm
The Beautiful and the Damned hosted by Philip Cairns / January 10 / 7pm / Glad Day Bookshop / PWYC
Hot-Sauced Words / January 17 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / January 20 / 8pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5
Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / January 20 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free
Toronto Poetry Slam ft. Toronto Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke / January 26 / 8pm / The Drake Hotel / $5
Have a spoken word event coming up that you'd like us to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO events calendar.
Greg "Ritallin" Frankson is the creative director of Cytopoetics, as well as an arts educator and a spoken word artist himself. Photo courtesy of Abdominal & The Obliques.