Dave Silverberg at the Toronto Poetry Slam

Slammin' Night at the Drake

This past Saturday night's Toronto Poetry Slam featured stories about Superman, horny unicorns, the Skyline Diner, and ten-cow wives; as cliché as it sounds, you can expect the unexpected at the Toronto Poetry Slam.

The Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) is a monthly celebration of competitive spoken word, where all styles of performance poetry is welcome and the audience plays judge. Or, as TPS founder and host Dave Silverberg says it, "the democratization of poetry." Saturday's slam — which was also the final qualifier for the Toronto team at the upcoming National Festival of Spoken Word — drew a crowd of over 150 people that packed into The Underground at the Drake Hotel. The night featured five open mic performances (including one by yours truly), a headlining set by Def Poetry Jam artist Rives, and a heated three-round competition featuring nine of the this city's best slam poets.

The competition was tight, with all nine competing poets bringing their best material in each round, culminating in an intense final between slam veterans Krystle, Amanda, and June TPS winner Leviathan. In the end, Amanda captured the July slam title, and secured her place (along with four other poets) on the Toronto slam team.

The next Toronto Poetry Slam will take place on August 19, 2006 at Cervejaria. See TorontoPoetrySlam.com for more information.

More photos and a short video clip of Rives' performance from Saturday below:

RD at the Toronto Poetry SlamRives at the Toronto Poetry SlamSpencer at the Toronto Poetry SlamCrowd at the Toronto Poetry SlamKrystle at the Toronto Poetry Slam


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