toronto spoken word

Spoken Word events in Toronto, October 2012

Spoken Word events worth knowing about in Toronto for the month of October

Five teams from the Greater Toronto Area will make their way to the national slam championships in Saskatoon over Thanksgiving weekend. The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word is the largest event of its kind in the country, and Toronto area poets plan to make a big splash at the ninth annual edition of the event.

Though the region's top slammers will be flying to the prairies in the middle of the month, there will be plenty happening in the local spoken word scene to keep fans of the form busy.


Flowetic Wednesday / October 3 / 7pm / Zemra Bar Lounge / $5
The re-launching of Flowetic brings a beloved poetry and music showcase series out of its self-imposed hiatus. Show organizers Tallawah and D-lishus have invited local artists Jeff Cottrill and Whitney French to be the featured poets. There will be a short workshop at 7pm, followed by the performances at 7:30pm.

Toronto Slam Champions' Cup / October 4 / 8pm / Waterfalls Indian Tapas / $10
Eight slammers representing the slam series currently running in the Greater Toronto Area (Patrick de Belen, Child of Life, Truth Is ..., Ambrosia, Ritallin, Jubilee, Britta B and Vanessa McGowan) go head to head for the right to call themselves Toronto's "champion of champions" in the first-ever contest for region-wide bragging rights.

SPEAKout Poetry: Ideas Worth Rhyming / October 21 / 1pm / Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre / $20 advance-$25 door
An all-star cast of poetry heavyweights will come together in one of the city's priority neighbourhoods to explore the theme Where Art Meets Action. Shihan, Ian Keteku, Ibn Najeeb, Lishai, Tomy Bewick, Mustafa Ahmed and Patrick de Belen combine forces for a memorable line-up of artists striving to enlighten and uplift local youth.

Ontario Spoken Word Circuit Presents Hyfidelik / October 17, 18, 22 & 24
The OSWC is a consortium of five spoken word groups that stage monthly spoken word events in London, Guelph, Hamilton, Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto and York Region. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts they will bring a high-profile artist each month to perform at the venues on the circuit. This month it's Ottawa-based poet/MC Hyfidelik the Gypsy Sun at Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (October 17), Burlington Slam Project (October 18), Mississauga Poetry Slam (October 22) and YorkSlam (October 24).

Toronto Poetry Slam / October 27 / 8pm / The Drake Hotel / $5
This month, Two Dope Boys in a Cadillac returns to Toronto for a feature set during the city's biggest slam event. The artists individually known as shayne avec i grec and Johnny MacRae tour together and provide their audiences with a unique combination of poetry, music, water bowls, stories and energy. Local crowd favourites, these guys are thrilled to be back in town and their fans are too.

Other Shows & Events

R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 / 6:30pm / Scarborough Youth Resource Centre / $2

The Art Bar Poetry Series / October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 / 8pm / Pauper's Pub / PWYC

The Gong Show hosted by Dwayne Morgan / October 3 / 8pm / Harlem Restaurant / $10

Livewords / October 4 / 7:30pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC

Love Jones Sundays hosted by Amani / October 7 / 7pm / No One Writes to the Colonel / $10

The Thanksgiving Party hosted by Up From The Roots / October 7 / 9:30pm / Harlem Restaurant / $10; free for CFSW-bound poets

Toronto WordStage / October 10 / 7:30pm / Q-Space / free

BAM! The Toronto Youth Slam Semifinals ft. Valentino Assenza / October 10 / 7:30pm / The Central / $5

The Beautiful & The Damned hosted by Lizzie Violet (Day of the Dead Edition) / October 11 / 7pm / Glad Day Bookshop / PWYC

Toronto Poetry Slam / October 14 / 8pm / The Drake Hotel / $5

Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / October 21 / 8pm / Harlem Restaurant / $5

International Festival of Authors Markham / October 23 / 7:30pm / Flato Markham Theatre / $18

For more listings, head on over to the events calendar or check out the Cytopoetics Events spoken word blog for local info updated weekly 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.

Greg "Ritallin" Frankson is the creative director of Cytopoetics, as well as an arts educator, and a spoken word artist himself. Lead photo courtesy of Truth Is...

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