Spoken word events in Toronto, February 2014
Spoken word events worth knowing about in Toronto, February 2014.
The first month of 2014 has come and gone as quickly as any illusion of having a mild winter this time around. We huddled in dark, warm places listening to the words of others and, in some cases, sharing our own words. This was the reality of the spoken word community at the top of a brand new year. Now we roll into February, where lengthening days illuminate just a bit more about the history of Black folks, and fire from the mouths of wordsmiths is hot enough to melt the chill in our bones inflicted by a tyrannical Mother Nature. What gifts will be shared in this, the year's shortest month, among those who crave the power of the word? Read on to find out.
WOMEN OF COLOUR POETRY SALON / FEBRUARY 5 / 6:30PM / URBAN GALLERY / PWYC
Three powerful women come together to share their work in a showcase event sure to inform, educate and inspire respect for the paths they've followed to reach this point in their artistic careers. Bänoo Zan, the organizer of the event, shares the stage with Kanwal Rahim and Red Slam Collective's Mahlikah Awe:ri:
KUUMBA BLACK HISTORY MONTH FESTIVAL: 5 FINGERS 1 FIST SPOKEN WORD SHOWCASE / FEBRUARY 8 / 2:30PM / HARBOURFRONT CENTRE / FREE
The Kuumba festival returns this year with an incredible spoken word line-up in this amazing showcase of Black poetic voices. Jordan "JV da' Poet" Viera, Quentin Vercetty, Trevlyn Kay, David Delisca, Mark "Kurupt" Stoddart and R.I.S.E. Poetry founder Randell Adjei will hit the stage to share their words in an event not to be missed:
INFERNO 2014 / FEBRUARY 15 / 6PM / HART HOUSE AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO / $10 ADV; $15 DOOR
UNITY at U of T and Open Minds Respect Events present the second annual choose-your-own-team youth slam tournament for poets aged 12-22. Top prize for the winning team is $250. A showcase of beat boxing and breakdancing is also part of the festivities. The event will be hosted by Tomy Bewick, one of the GTA's top spoken word performer/organizers.
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS TITILOPE SONUGA / FEBRUARY 19, 20 & 26
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 award-winning author and Edmonton slam founder Titilope Sonuga at Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (February 19) and Burlington Slam Project (February 20) and YorkSlam (February 26).
THE HUNGER / FEBRUARY 23 / 7PM / LULA LOUNGE / $20
Dwayne Morgan's latest brainchild is a showcase of poets who show their hunger by going out and finding people who will attend the show to support their performance. The more people you bring, the better your billing, and the more advantages and privileges that you accrue for the show. This first edition will see Morgan hit the stage with Tomy Bewick, Word Mason, Bassam, Ian "Creo" Walters, Patrick de Belen, Alyestal Hamilton and 2013 national slam champion David Delisca. Make your way to Lula to see which poet is the hungriest.
OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS
Sunday Poetry / February 2, 9, 16, 23 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free
Amsterdam Bicycle Club Presents Lizzie Violet's Poetry Open Mic ft. Adam Abbas / February 3 / 8pm / Amsterdam Bicycle Club / PWYC
R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / February 3, 10, 17, 24 / 6:30pm / Burrows Hall Community Centre / free
The Art Bar Poetry Series / February 4, 11, 18, 25 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Acoustic Soul Tuesdays / February 4, 11, 18, 25 / 8pm / Pero Restaurant and Lounge / $5
UNITY HUB Launch / February 5 / 6pm / Stephen Leacock CI / free
COVEN 2 ft. Aisha Sasha John / February 7 / 9pm / Henhouse / PWYC
The Introduction of Inventertainment / February 8 / 9pm / Black Swan Tavern / $10
Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir Featuring - Heather Babcock, Regina Denata & blueVenus / February 9 / 7pm / The Central / PWYC ($5 suggested)
Cometry Poedy ft. Dagmar Morgan / February 11 / 7:30pm / The Central / PWYC
BAM! Toronto Youth Slam ft. PrufRock Shadowrunner / February 12 / 6:30pm / The Central / $5
UTMNDP Presents Poetry Showcase ft. Optimus Rhyme / February 12 / 8pm / Blind Duck Pub at University of Toronto Mississauga / PWYC
The Good and Bad of Love / February 14 / 7pm / Magic Oven - Queen East / $15
Love and Other Struggles / February 15 / 8pm / Hirut Restuarant / PWYC
Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / February 16 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free
Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / February 16 / 8pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5
Hot-Sauced Words / February 20 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Loose Leaf Poets & Writers / February 24 / 7pm / Maple Leaf House Grill & Lounge / free
Shab-e She'r (Poetry Night) / February 25 / 7pm / The Central / PWYC
Livewords 6th Anniversary Show / February 27 / 7:30pm / Black Swan Tavern / free
We Flip Tables! Poetry Deathmatch Vol. I / February 27 / 8pm / Bryden's Pub, Milton / $5
Friday Night Lights ft. Toyin Coker & Ritallin / February 28 / 8pm / Unit #2 / $10
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.
Lead photo of Randell Adjei