Spoken word events in Toronto, November 2013
Spoken word events worth knowing about in Toronto, November 2013.
In early November two teams from Toronto travel to Montreal to compete in the National Poetry Slam Championships at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Last year the Up From The Roots Toronto team captured the title. It remains to be seen if either the Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam Team or the Toronto Poetry Slam Team can make it two in a row for the Big Smoke. While they're off in their pitched slam battle, there are plenty of spoken word happenings right here at home. From open mics to ugly sweater parties to the biggest ticketed spoken word event of the year, there's a little something for everyone looking to satisfy their poetry cravings. Take a peek at what's in store over the next 30 days.
WORDSPELL SPOKEN WORD SHOWCASE & OPEN MIC / NOVEMBER 6 / 8PM / FREE TIMES CAFÉ / $6 & UP
The bi-monthly celebration of poetry presented from a female perspective returns to College Street with feature performances by local slam veteran Tanya Neumeyer and emerging wordsmith Lamoi Simmonds. There's also an open mic reserved for the women — but fellas, if you want a truly unique and edifying poetic experience, make the time to come down to support, listen and learn a little something. Here's a taste from the show's headline feature performer:
WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK 15TH ANNIVERSARY SPOKEN WORD CONCERT / NOVEMBER 16 / 8PM / ST. LAWRENCE CENTRE FOR THE ARTS / $37-$57
Up From The Roots presents the largest spoken word concert in Canada at the renowned St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. For the first time, this show will be held in the Bluma Appel Theatre, making it the first ever spoken word event held in that space. Tickets are selling quickly so if you're keen to attend, grab your ducats before they're gone. Open Secret, the reigning Canadian individual slam poetry champion, is one of the six men who will feature at this show.
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS ERIN KIRSH / NOVEMBER 19, 21 & 27
The SOSWC is a consortium of spoken word groups that stage monthly spoken word events in London, Guelph, Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto and York Region. Thanks to the support of Canada Council for the Arts, they bring a high-profile artist each month to perform at the venues on the circuit. This month, the Circuit welcomes Vancouver Poetry Slam stalwart Erin Kirsh at Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (November 19), Burlington Slam Project (November 21) and YorkSlam in Richmond Hill (November 27).
VIEWPOINT YOUTH & THE PROCESS PRESENTS A YOUTH POETRY SLAM / NOVEMBER 22 / 7PM / GLENVIEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH / $5 19+; PWYC UNDER 19
A brand new youth poetry organization will be launched with this special event hosted by 2012 national poetry slam champion Patrick de Belen. Young poets in their teenage years are encouraged to register for the slam, which will pit 8 slammers against each other in pursuit of poetic glory. There will also be networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs and artists invited to display information and share their products with those in attendance. Guest judges will also perform during the event. Event host de Belen shares some of his words here for a taste of what to expect:
SPEAKOUT POETRY OPEN MIC NIGHT / NOVEMBER 30 / 8PM / BEIT ZATOUN / $10
This occasional event returns with an opportunity for anyone with a message or a story to tell to get onto the open mic and share their words. The environment nurtured by a group best known for their unique poetry slam events is rooted in family appropriate poetic expressions that embraces people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. To find out more about what SPEAKout is about, check out this video:
OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS
- Sunday Poetry / November 3, 10, 17, 24 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free
- Bonspiel! is CRITICIZED! ft. Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam Toronto Team & Ritallin / November 3 / 9pm / No One Writes to the Colonel / $10
- R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / November 4, 11, 18, 25 / 6:30pm / Burrows Hall Community Centre / free
- School Night: Spoken Word Masterclass ft. Ian Keteku / November 4 / 7pm / 1718 Queen Street West (formerly Go Lounge) / $6
- Loose Leaf Poets & Writers Acoustic Music & Poetry Night / November 4 / 7pm / Maple Leaf House Grill & Lounge / free
- The Art Bar Poetry Series / November 5, 12, 19, 26 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
- Acoustic Soul Tuesdays / November 5, 12, 19, 26 / 8pm / Pero Restaurant and Lounge / $5
- Livewords / November 7 / 7:30pm / Black Swan Tavern / free
- Toronto Poetry Slam / November 9 ft. Denice Frohman and November 24 ft. Rudy Francisco / 8pm / Drake Hotel Underground / $5
- Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir ft. Imogene Quest, Dom Pare & Giraffe / November 10 / 7pm / The Central / PWYC ($5 suggested)
- The Emerging Writers Reading Series / November 12 / 8pm / Duffy's Tavern / PWYC
- Ripped Wide Open Mic / November 14 / 9pm / Sterling Studio / $5
- Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / November 17 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free
- Accappella hosted by Al St. Louis / November 17 / 7pm / Good Vybes / $20 adv-$25 door (includes buffet)
- Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / November 17 / 7pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5
- Loose Leaf Poets & Writers Ugly Sweater Party / November 18 / 7pm / Maple Leaf House Grill & Lounge / free
- Blue Coffee Reading Series / November 18 / 8pm / Magpie Taproom / PWYC
- Hot-Sauced Words / November 21 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
- The Underdog Poets Academy by Meat Locker Editions / November 24 / 7:30pm / The Central / free
- Queen Gallery Poetry Night / November 26 / 7pm / Queen Gallery / PWYC
For more listings, head on over to the events calendar for local info updated regularly during the month.
Have a spoken word event coming up that you'd like us to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO events calendar.
Photo of Tanya Neumeyer via Facebook