Spencer Slams at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

CFSW2006: Slammin' with Spencer

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 speak to Spencer, 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 feels really, really good. It's been a huge goal of mine to go to the nationals for a long time, as I assume it is for pretty much every other slam poet out there. This will be my first time too (as it will be for my team mate Krystel Mullin) and I think i'm probably as nervous as I am excited. It's just such a huge honour.

As for surprises...hmmmm... well, I think we definitely have a really diverse team this year and with that comes really dynamic group pieces (meaning things that one or more members wrote together and will perform together). I think that's what's really gonna shock people, seeing a couple of them get on stage at the same time and blow minds like old Nintendo cartridges.

How important is the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word for the spoken word scene here in Toronto?
I think it's a great way to promote the fact that we do have a spoken word community in Toronto. As much as we may sell out slams on a monthly basis and have people going nuts and standing room only sometimes and all that good stuff, on a bigger scale, not that many people know that it exists. This is the first time that the CFSW is gonna be taking place in Toronto and I hope that the fact that some of the best spoken word artists in Canada will be flying into Toronto and droppin' poems all over the city for 4 days will open some new eyes.

What can the average Torontonian expect (and look forward to) from this year's festival?
Expect to have fun. This ain't some stuffy, pretentious beatnik stuff. This is a bunch of real people talking about real thing in unbelievable ways. Words will be mangled, similes will be slaughtered, metaphors mashed, verbs vandalized and nouns nullified. This is gonna be great and I truly believe that there's something for everybody at these things.

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: Toronto Poetry Slam)


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