First off, our apologies for not having written up the last few slams. We're all busy folks and we promise we're trying! If you want to join the collective and help us out, just send us a message (you can help out in any way you want, with as much or as little time as you have to give).
November's slam was intimate with only 5 slammers taking the mic, but loving and energetic nonetheless. Christine once again spilled her blood as our sacrificial poet with a moving ode to the corner of Dundas and Richmond streets. The first round also brought us more moving odes, to the 911s in Steph's life, to the girls ("I exist up one arm, love me up the other, and I'm beautiful and get used to it...") from Char, and to the brown baby boy crawling through the dust from Abena.
We decided that with only 5 poets on the roster, we'd have everyone compete in the second round. But before that, we were wowed by the lovely, amazing, hilarious, spunky, and insightful Evalyn Parry. From her letter to Stephen Harper to her always beautiful "Stone and the Bumblebee" song, to her eye-opening piece about the drinking water industry ("they say water is the new oil..."), Evalyn was her usual incredible self. Catch her on Friday Dec 12 at the London Music Club!
The second round brought us more amazing poems from Mike, Abena, Char, Kyra, and Steph Sly. Highlights included (but were not limited to!) Mike's heart-touching piece about the nice girl to whom he was too shy to talk, Kyra's cry for using God's words for good, and Abena's powerful poem urging "voices for the voiceless, speak in unison, sharing the power." At the end of the night, it was Steph Sly who once again took home the top prize. Looking forward to seeing you all again next week!
July's London Poetry Slam was an intimate gathering, with only three poets taking the mic to compete, and a smaller crowd than we've seen in a while. Nevertheless, it was a heartwarming and inspiring night, proving that we don't need big crowds to show the love.
Merissa, Steph, and Celeste decided amongst themselves that with just the three of them slamming, all three would do three rounds and whoever had the highest average score at the end of the night would be crowned the July champ. With poetry covering every topic from stereotypes to blindness, sexy bikes to uteruses (uteri?) being compared to wall street, it was a lively evening enjoyed by all, especially the judges, all of whom were newbies at the London slam. Our regular host and handsome rat bastard timer, Jen and Aaron, were greatly missed, but Lianne and Jovo valiantly stepped forward to fill Aaron's shoes (with the help of a calculator ;o). Special props go to Jovo who made a last-minute call to brave the mic and read a heart-wrenchingly courageous piece, proving that jocks can indeed write.
Many thanks to everyone who continues to support the growing and incredibly inspiring thing that is the London Poetry Slam. Check out News and Updates for fun stuff coming up in the next few months, and we hope to see you in August!
"The appearance of things change according to the emotions and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves."
- Kahlil Gilbran
Thank you to everyone who came out to our June slam! Last week was so slameriffic and packed full of information and inspiration. I am high off of the energy and love and even the bits of bitter and sweet that came out of the Ontario Slamboree and the monthly London Poetry Slam.
First off: congratulations to Steph, the winner of last Tuesday's June London Poetry Slam, and to Nathanael and Erin (a newcomer to our stage!), who placed second and third, respectively. Actually, congratulations to everyone—the growing talent and love at the London slams continues to blow us away. It was also great to see so many new and enthusiastic faces at the slam, both on and off the mic. Your inspiring words, the pure unique support of the London folk and the excellent judging make London so amazing! Even though I yelled at some peeps to not make a peep during performances, I really love you and think you are the best audience ever. I will miss you next month when I am away in Italy. Last but definitely not least on the topic of last week's London slam, a huge thank you goes out to Ziy, our amazing feature, who rocked the mic with some of her incredible own stuff, a hilarious cover piece of Evalyn Parry's, and a workshop/team piece with Elyse. It was so great to have her grace the London stage!
The Ontario Slamboree on Saturday night was a smashing success, and we were so excited to be a part of the experience. It was a jam-packed night full of so much incredible poetry, insight, love, and laughter! London's own Tristan won the last-chance slam with his "Mansibilities" poem, earning him a spot in the Slamboree finals alongside the London and Peterborough semi-finalists. Steph and Sook, the London semi-finalists, were also in fine form and made us so proud of them and the London scene (especially when they tied and ended up having to perform a third piece!). At the end of the night, it was the Peterborough folks who were awarded the remaining two team spots, with Sook's ultra-powerful final performance garnering him the alternate spot. Good luck to Elyse and Sook as they join Peterborough's Ziy, Beth-Ann, and Fraser on the Southern Ontario Slam Team heading to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Calgary in November.
Please send me impressions and inspirations that you took away from our scene and if you like I will get them up on our website.
As always, big huge thank yous to everyone who supports the London scene,
Sorry....we sort of dropped the ball on this one. We'll do better in future, we promise!
The London Poetry Slam kicked off its second event on March 25th at the Alex P. Keaton, and despite steadily dripping ice and snow, the crowd filled out, surpassing the turnout of our first slam not only in numbers, but also in energy. Everyone was fired up, engaged with the poets and prepared for whatever the night had to offer.
Round One began and the house was still short in the way of poets; with just 10 on the roster judge Christine valiantly offered herself up for the sacrifice. Everyone got a little heated by the sexy rhymes of Cass and Elyse's fiery breast anthem. The crowd stepped into their own, expressing to the judges their opinion: whoots, snaps, and boos arose. A last story-teller came in with minutes left in the round; the audience welcomed him and was surprised by Tristan's lengthy and poetic short story (an experience that raised a lot of great questions about the goals and guidelines of our slam).
Krystle Mullin graced the mic as our featured poet, leaving some speechless, some breathless, and yet others in tears. Busses, Bombs, Pigeons, Skip-it, Traffic Jams, and Dawn: her ability for story-telling was surpassed only by her passion. Krystle broke any
expectations the room may have been harbouring.
We began Round Two with a tie for sixth place, taking seven poets to the stage: Sook, Elyse, Faith, Matthew, Brodie, Cass, and Pete Huggon. Krystle was hard act to follow, but Faith, first up in round two, managed to capture the crowd, pushing through to the next round. Matthew and Brodie dropped a little Saul Williams-style, words like scripture the paper towels rolled. Sook and Elyse shook things up: the crowd wanted more of Sook's hard-to-get attitude and Elyse's passionate prose.
Round Three began and everyone had brought their game. Down to: Sook, the winner of last month's slam; Faith. who came down "all the way from Windsor"; and our very own Elyse. The list was drawn: Faith, Sook, and then Elyse. Faith gave us clear visual, you and I, two halves of a zipper. Sook dropped deep words, "God is an artist. All religions, same paint". And as Elyse closed the night, the audience was moved, the judges spoke, and the night was hers...
Thanks again to all those who came out. It is wonderful getting to share this space and energy with you. See you next month!
London's first slam was a rousing success, a testament to how ready London was for this scene to be born. The Keaton's main room was full, and we were all hanging on every word. Twelve poets put their names in, filling up the first round without having to cut any out. The first round was intense, with incredible performances by many. The audience was a little bit shy at first, but quickly warmed to the task of giving props where they were due.
The second round brought more politically incorrect rhetoric from Jonah, more kick-ass motor-mouthed metaphors from Kyle, more politically correct ranting from Elyse, more beat-driven beauty from Sukh, more subtle sexy wordplay from Jenni, and more hilarious commentary from Kane (felinify=to make someone into a cat). In the end, it was Sukh that brought home the final round, making him the first winner of a London Poetry Slam!
Thanks a million to everyone who came out tonight--you made it an incredible success! The Keaton was so pumped about the event's success, in fact, that plans are in the works to make the London Poetry Slam a monthly event. Stay tuned to the Upcoming Slams page for more details. Also check out the soon-to-be-posted Photos page for photos from tonight's slam, as well as the Scores page for posted scores from each slam.