haiku toronto

Toronto poets to go head-to-head in haiku battle

The Toronto Poetry Project holds bi-weekly spoken word events at The Drake Underground. But once a year, the group dedicates a night solely to haiku, pitting the city's top poets against each other in a theatrical battle royale.

Organizer Dave Silverberg saw his first head-to-head haiku battle at the National Poetry Slam competition in the States. "I thought, we definitely have to have this in Canada," he says, especially since there's lots of support for performance poetry in Toronto.

Each year, a handful of haiku poets compete in a round-robin-style tournament. Contestants must prepare around 30 poems and three judges determine the winner in each round. When a poets gets out, they must "die" and the host - this year it's Cynthia Gould - helps kill them in a dramatic pantomime fashion.

Currently in its fifth iteration, the annual haiku head-to-head battle will go down at the Supermarket in Kensington Market on September 22.


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