The top spoken word events in Toronto January 2014
Spoken word events worth checking out in Toronto for January 2014.
Hey there, 2014 -- got any poems for us? As we ring in the new year, the local spoken word community has resolved to keep the words coming. A full slate of powerful poetry from the ladies, from the land of weird, infused with music, slammed down and/or picked up with style and panache awaits anyone adventurous and sure-footed enough to make the journey with the talented artists on offer. Here's a tasty sampling of what's on offer over the next 31 days.
QEW REGIONAL POETRY SLAM / JANUARY 4 / 7PM / BURLINGTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE / $15
Teams from across southwestern Ontario and western New York state converge on Burlington for the first major poetry slam event of the New Year. Open Minds Respect Events has outdone itself this time, expanding the reach of the Burlington Slam Project to put on a tremendous poetic display for what promises to be a rabid, keyed up crowd in the western suburbs. You think spoken word isn't taking off on the fringes of the T-Dot? Attendance at the QEW Slam will quickly disabuse you of this notion. Get your tickets here and check out this performance from the 2010 show in Buffalo:
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS RITALLIN / JANUARY 15, 16 & 22
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, 2012 national team slam champion and 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) runner-up Ritallin tours Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam's CIPS Qualifier (January 15), Burlington Slam Project (January 16) and YorkSlam's CIPS Qualifier (January 22).
FORTY-SEVEN KISSES BY VICTORIA GRANT - BOOK LAUNCH & SHOWCASE / JANUARY 19 / 6PM / DAZZLING LOUNGE / $20 ADMISSION & SIGNED BOOK; $10 ADMISSION ONLY
A fabulous evening of sensuality, feminine artistry and the rawness of Victoria Grant's sexually charged poetry will set the juices flowing through your ... brain. Joined on stage with performances by Enuma and Kerry-Ann Wright, Grant releases her first major poetry collection in a shower of erotic energy you won't soon forget. The evening will be hosted by Stacy-Ann Buchanan with music by DJ Soul Child. Bring a handkerchief and/or a change of underwear. Yeah, it's gonna be like that.
WHEN SISTERS SPEAK SPOKEN WORD CONCERT / JANUARY 25 / 7PM / ST. LAWRENCE CENTRE FOR THE ARTS / $40-$50
Hosted and produced by Dwayne Morgan, When Sisters Speak is the largest annual event of its kind in North America. Six top-notch sisters -- Halifax Poet Laureate El Jones, Erika Gault (Buffalo), Ify (Calgary), Raissa Simone (Kingston), Britta B. (Toronto and Truth Is ... (Guelph) -- will bless the mic in an unforgettable evening of poetic strength, eloquence and raw power. Come dressed to take some smart photos with the feature performers in the lobby, and prepare your minds for a lyrical assault of epic proportions.
OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS
Sunday Poetry / January 5, 12, 19, 26 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free
The Art Bar Poetry Series / January 7, 14, 21, 28/ 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Word Sound Power (formerly Acoustic Soul Tuesdays) / January 7, 14, 21, 28 / 8pm / Pero Restaurant and Lounge / $5
BAM! Toronto Youth Slam - Anything Goes Slam ft. Philosofly / January 8 / 6:30pm / The Central / $5
WordSpell Spoken Word ft. Cathy Petch & Sabrina / January 8 / 8pm / Free Times Café / $6 & up
Electric Jon Presents 50 Hrs to Live Spoken Weird Variety Showcase / January 9 / 9pm / Saving Gigi / PWYC
Toronto Poetry Slam / January 10 ft. Janice Lee and January 26 ft. Regie Cabico / 8pm / Drake Hotel Underground / $5
Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir, featuring Brock Hessel, David Bateman and Cap & Kev / January 12 / 7pm / The Central / PWYC ($5 suggested)
Hot-Sauced Words / January 16 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Talk, Sing, Dance: Poet Psychology Wrap Party ft. Ritallin, Ohm Shanti, Faduma Mohamed, Nathan Bishop, Toyin Croker & Special Guests / January 18 / 8pm / GTA Permaculture Headquarters / $10
Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / January 19 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free
Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / January 19 / 7pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5
Loose Leaf Poets & Writers / January 21 / 7pm / Maple Leaf House Grill & Lounge / free
Queen Gallery Poetry Night / January 28 / 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 Dwayne Morgan