Krystle Slams at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

CFSW2006: Slammin' with Krystle

The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word kicks off this Wednesday night, bringing together the best spoken word artists from across the country for a weekend of inter-city slam competitions and daytime workshops and events.

In preparation for this fantastic event, I had the chance to chat online with Krystle, a member of Toronto's Slam Team, about the festival and spoken word across the city.

What does it feel like representing Toronto at this year's Canadian Festival of Spoken Word? Any surprises from the Toronto team that we should be looking forward to?
It's really hard to find the right words to describe the feelings I have with regards to representing Toronto for the Festival of Spoken Word (funny, since I'm a 'writer' and all!). At the risk of sounding clichĂŠ: I am completely over-whelmed and excited and nervous and energized and and and and....To tell you the truth, I feel a little bit like an rookie! I only started slamming in March and the rest of the Toronto team (Amanda Hiebert, Spencer and Leviathan) are seasoned veterans. To make a Raptors analogy: I can be compared to the 6 footer newbie who might play her first game in the NBA and wish she had never left Spain. At the end of the day though, I am very honored to be representing Toronto and feel like we are going to, not only make the city proud, but make the streets holler and shout and scream at the top of their lungs. Oh, and yes, of course there are some surprises...but all o' yall are going to have to come to the festival to be shocked and flabbergasted!

How important is the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word for the spoken word scene here in Toronto?
Speaking of surprises. I think the Festival is going to really surprise the City of Toronto. I think that people aren't really sure what to expect and so are coming in with an open minds (always the best kind of mind to have). I think that the importance of the Festival for the spoken word scene in Toronto is seated in the fact that Spoken Word is going to be everywhere for 3 days in October. And I mean Every Where. There will be poets running up and down streets, around parked cars, and hitting unsuspecting passers-by with poetry (in the non-violence sense of the word). EVERY WHERE. And that will be a diversion from the norm. Usually poetry (slam poetry) is an underground-grassroots-less than mainstream kind of thing. Not this weekend! Poets and Poetry will take over. And Toronto will be affected. Instead of The City of Toronto needing their caffeine kick in the morning people will start to say "Can I get a triple shot, double vente, non fat sugar, free slam poem..oh and can you make that to go please?"

What can the average Torontonian expect (and look forward to) from this year's festival?
The average Torontonian can expect to be mesmerized and baffled and impressed. Most of all they can look forward to falling in love with poetry, with the art of slam, and with Canadian poets themselves (and if the average Torontonian is really lucky they might even get laid! Cause I mean, let's face it: slam poetry is bringing sexy back).

The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word takes place from October 11 to 14 at various locations across the city. Be sure to come out and support Toronto's team and support spoken word across the country.

More information and the festival program are available from the CFSW2006 website.

(Image: Krystle Mullin)

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