Heron Jonse Hosts Last Night's Slam

CFSW2006: The Competition Heats Up

I know what you're all saying: how come Sameer Vasta gets to go out to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word while we're stuck at work, and he doesn't even go and take some good photos? Well, fear not. Today, I've got video.

Every single poet in the competition brought their A-game to last night's slam, which was the final qualifying preliminary before the slam championship finals tonight. Teams from Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver took to the stage with poems about politics, culture, love and hatred, and the lucky people in the audience got to witness one of the most intense slam competitions every seen in this country.

All assembled at the amazing Trane Studio, each poet did their best to impress the judges — and no slam would be complete without some judging controversy — but more importantly, they took the opportunity to speak their mind. The night kicked off with a poem by master-poet Shane Koyczan, and following his introduction, poets like Patrick Swan told us about the abnormality of being normal and DJ Morales (my new crush of the week) proposed the idea of a political cage match for Prime Minister.

Poets Bring It On at the CFSW

Wonderfully hosted by Heron Jonse, the night was full of surprises including a beatbox set by Eddy da Original One and some crowd outrage at some judges' scoring, the night ended with two Toronto teams, the Ottawa team, and the Vancouver team qualifying as finalists for the championships.

Now, before I leave you with a fantastic video of Leviathan telling us about his Toronto neighbourhood, I strongly encourage — heck, if you're not there, you can't be my friend anymore — you all to come out and support both Toronto slam teams as they compete for national slam supremacy at the St. Lawrence Centre For The Arts. There's more information in the program, but I suggest getting there early: the Trane Studio has been packed every night, and if you want seats, you need to arrive before the crowd.


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