The top spoken word events in Toronto April 2014
April is National Poetry Month (NPM) - a time to focus on all things poetry. Your humble columnist is in a celebratory mood. For the rest of the month, poets across the GTA will be out and about in the community sharing their work with colleagues, neighbours and friends, helping to enrich the social fabric of the region. If you get a chance to see anything poetic, be sure to take it in -- some of the best poetry to be found anywhere in this country is written right here in Toronto. The spoken word and poetry slam community, naturally, is putting on a month-long soirée in the midst of all the poetizing. Here's what is on tap for you all to drink in this April.
TORONTO POETRY SLAM FINALS FT. JOSHUA BENNETT / APRIL 19 / 8PM / ROYAL CINEMA / $15 ADVANCE - $20 DOOR
The defending national slam champion series selects the team that will seek to win back-to-back titles at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Victoria in Little Italy's historic screening house. Eight of the city's top slammers square off in front of one of the city's largest slam audiences of the year. And if you are also looking for a bit of extra flavour, check out this video from the featured performer on Toronto Poetry Project's big night:
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS VANESSA MCGOWAN / APRIL 16, 17 & 23
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, former local slam champion Vanessa McGowan visits ARTiculated Noise (April 16), Burlington Slam Project (April 17) and YorkSlam (April 23).
OUTRAGEOUS / APRIL 29 / 9PM / THE CENTRAL / FREE
The fifth instalment of this plucky, irreverent and lovely new "word art series" offers an all-female line-up in celebration of NPM. Hosted by poetic firestarter Elizabeth Burns, the show brings together Amika Selah, Estefania, Ariel Martz-Oberlander and Sarah Al-Hage to wow the crowd as a month of poetry festivity draws to a close.
OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS
Livewords / April 3 / 7:30pm / Black Swan Tavern / free
Sunday Poetry / April 6, 13, 20, 27 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free
Sunday Session with CK, Adam Faux and Loose Leaf Poets & Writers / April 6 / 2pm / Village Vinyl Music Emporium & Café / PWYC
Amsterdam Bicycle Club Presents Lizzie Violet's Poetry Open Mic ft. Clara Blackwood / April 7 / 8pm / Amsterdam Bicycle Club / PWYC
R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / April 7, 14, 21, 28 / 6:30pm / Burrows Hall Community Centre / free
The Art Bar Poetry Series / April 8, 15, 22, 29 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Acoustic Soul Tuesdays / April 8, 15, 22, 29 / 8pm / Pero Restaurant and Lounge / $5
BAM! Toronto Youth Slam ft. Macer / April 9 / 6:30pm / The Central / $5
Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / April 13 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free
Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir ft. Jezebel Beelzebub Bells, Regina Dentata & Nelson Sobral / April 13 / 7pm / The Central / PWYC ($5 suggested)
Cometry Poedy ft. IF / April 15 / 7:30pm / The Central / PWYC
Hot-Sauced Words / April 17 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC
Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / April 20 / 8pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5
'Sauga Stars Youth Talent Showcase ft. We Flip Tables / April 25 / 6pm / Meadowvale Theatre (Mississauga) / free (with preregistration)
Shab-e She'r (Poetry Night) / April 29 / 7pm / Beit Zatoun / 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 Joshua Bennett
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