Spoken Word Toronto

Spoken word events in Toronto, April 2013

Toronto Spoken Word Events, April 2013

Spring has sprung, and the first full month of the new season also happens to be National Poetry Month. This is a busy time for writers of the lyrical kind. Spoken word can be found all over Toronto over the next thirty days, and here are a few of the places where you can find it.

HOT TICKETS

PAGE VS STAGE - THE DECATHOLYMPICS / APRIL 2 / 8PM / SUPERMARKET / $10
Cathy Petch hosts the first of three fundraisers for Toronto area poets seeking support for their trips west to compete in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. The event, slated for April 10-12 in Vancouver, pits 40 of the country's top poets against each other in a 3-day battle for solo slam supremacy. Petch will represent YorkSlam at CIPS. Her event involves ten lighthearted challenges with a monster truck trophy for the winning team. See Petch at work on stage:

NAKED: AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH DWAYNE MORGAN / APRIL 4 / 8PM / HARLEM RESTAUARANT / $10
The second CIPS fundraiser will support Dwayne Morgan, the award-winning spoken word artist and soon-to-be recipient of a star on Scarborough's Walk of Fame. He will seek to add a Canadian indie title to the 2012 team championship he won last fall with the Up From The Roots team. At this event, Morgan will do something he rarely does -- read work (recently penned during a trip to South Africa) in its raw, unfinished form. The legend, exposed.

MATT "LIP BALM" MILLER FUN-RAISER / APRIL 6 / 8PM / PROMENADE GALLERY (MISSISSAUGA) / $10
The CIPS representative for the slam in Mississauga known as We Flip Tables! is sending series host/artistic director Matt Miller, a.k.a. Lip Balm, to Vancouver. This veteran of the local slam scene enlists a talented group of collaborators for this event, including Spencer Butt, The Inbetween and Kyle Fraser, for a performance at the series' new digs in eastern Mississauga, a short drive from the Long Branch neighbourhood in south Etobicoke.

ONTARIO SPOKEN WORD CIRCUIT PRESENTS ELYSE MALTIN AND RACHEL MCKIBBENS / APRIL 17, 18, 24, 25
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, London Poetry Slam founder and former national director of Spoken Word Canada Elyse Maltin tours most of the circuit. She appears at Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (April 17) and Burlington Slam Project (April 18). Spoken word luminary Rachel McKibbens visits the final two stops on the circuit this month: YorkSlam in Richmond Hill (April 24) and We Flip Tables in Mississauga (April 25).

TORONTO POETRY SLAM FINALS FT. RACHEL MCKIBBENS / APRIL 20 / 8PM / ROYAL CINEMAS / $15 ADV-$20 DOOR

The first of back-to-back finals shows on Toronto Slam Championship Weekend 2013 sees eight top slammers competing for one of five spots on the team that came third at last year's national slam in Saskatoon. This year, the team will travel to Boston for the U.S. National Poetry Slam in August and the Canadian nationals in Montreal in November. But these poets will have to earn a spot on the team first. Expect fireworks!

ROOTS LOUNGE FINALS / APRIL 21 / 8PM / WATERFALLS INDIAN TAPAS / $10

The second slam finale of the weekend sees eight more poets take the stage to form this year's Up From The Roots team. Last year, UFTR claimed the national title, so for the five poets who emerge this year the stakes will be high. But given the current strength of Toronto spoken word, their chances of defending the title at the national slam are good for those strong enough to make it onto the team. Here's a sample from last year's championship team:

R.I.S.E. POETRY 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY / APRIL 22 / 8PM / LULA LOUNGE / $15 ADV; $20 DOOR
From modest beginnings at a youth resource centre in Scarborough Town Centre, the R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement has grown to be the largest poetry-oriented open mic event in the GTA. Regularly drawing 150-200 people to Tropicana Community Service's head office on Progress Avenue, the youth leaders of R.I.S.E. bring their hordes of young fire-spitters to the spacious confines of the Lula Lounge. One of the featured performers at the show is JV Da Poet:

OTHER SHOWS AND EVENTS

R.I.S.E. Poetry Movement / April 1, 8, 15, 29 / 6pm / Tropicana Community Services / $3

The Art Bar Poetry Series / April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 / 8pm / Q Space / PWYC

Flowetic Wednesday / April 3 / 7pm / Zemra Bar Lounge / $5

Livewords / April 4 / 7:30pm / Black Swan Tavern / free

Sunday Poetry / April 7, 14, 21, 28 / 11:30am / Ellington's Music & Café / free

Roots Lounge Open Mic & Poetry Slam / April 7 / 7pm / Yvonne's Coffee Haus / $5

Acoustic Soul Tuesdays / April 9, 23 / 8pm / Passione Sports Bar / $5 before 8pm; $10 after

The Emerging Writers Reading Series / April 9 / 8pm / Duffy's Tavern / PWYC

BAM! The Toronto Youth Slam ft. Serafina / April 10 / 6pm / The Central / $5

Toronto Wordstage / April 10 / 7:30pm / Q Space / free

The Beautiful and the Damned hosted by Duncan Armstrong / April 11 / 7pm / Glad Day Bookshop / PWYC

Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir / April 14 / 7pm / Q Space / PWYC ($5 suggested)

Loose Leaf Poets & Writers / April 15 / 7pm / The Maple Leaf House Grill & Lounge / free

Hot-Sauced Words / April 18 / 8pm / Black Swan Tavern / PWYC

Plasticine Poetry hosted by Cathy Petch / April 21 / 6pm / Pauper's Pub / free

Mississauga National Poetry Month Event / April 26 / 6:30pm / Courtneypark Library / free

Queen Gallery Poetry Night / April 30 / 7pm / Queen Gallery / PWYC

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.


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