Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
And I wasn't the only one. All of the visiting teams said how incredibly welcome and appreciated they felt, and I met more than a few spoken word converts from the Victoria audience.
I mean, 5 days of intense competition, artistry, mayhem and general awesomeness - I can't wait for Ottawa next year!
How can Tongues of Fire ever thank you? You - the volunteers, the audience, the supporting artists? Well, I guess by continuing to create space for you to create! So remember we hold regular shows:
Tongues of Fire - every 2nd and 4th Thursday @ Solstice Cafe
This is a great opportunity to try out a new piece or be inspired on our Open Mic. Plus, many of the best you saw at CFSW feature at this show throughout the year.
Victoria Slam - monthly slam starting in January
This is for all those ready and willing to test their poetic metal through competition and a rocking night for the audience!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Last year she ran the whole show, this year she's one of the top features. We sat down with the Mama of Dada herself, Sheri-D Wilson, and got her to share a few thoughts about the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word...
CFSW: Last year CFSW was in Calgary and you were the festival director. How does it feel coming to be a feature performer this year?
SD: Great! And I look forward to seeing everyone.
CFSW: You are hosting/festuring at CFSW's first-ever Erotica Show. What can people expect from you in terms poetic sexiness?
SD: If expectations are necessary – then I think, expect the ridiculous, the absurd…there’s nothing more erotic than humour.
CFSW: You're a mover and shaker in the world of Canadian Spoken Word, how would you describe the importance of CFSW to the evolution and community of Spoken Word?
SD: The CFSW brings the Slam Community together to share – poetry and ideas in a peaceful forum – supportive - and to learn.
This is rare
And will continue to expand
The possibilities of Spoken Word
As the oldest tradition and the newest form
Of poetry and performance
This form has a life of its own
CFSW: You've been called the mama of dada. How would you describe your performance style?
SD: In a state of discovery.
CFSW: Finally, the Dating Game question: If your poetry was a chinese fortune cookie, what would the fortune be?
SD: Eros with a Beat.
Sheri-D Wilson will be hosting the Erotica Show Wednesday night at the Victoria Event Centre, and performing in the women's showcase on Thursday at 3:30. For information about all shows at CFSW 09 visit our website www.cfsw09.com.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Today we shine the CFSW spotlight on
Read on to found out why Scruffmouth loves Choose-Your-Own Adventures....
CFSW: Your stage name is Scruffmouth - care to elaborate?
SM: My brother gave me the nickname Scruffmouth to describe my scruffy facial hair in high school. When I began writing and performing spoken word and dub poetry, it seemed like a natural stage name over "peach fuzz" and "chicken scratch".
CFSW: Your work is often at the intersection between the personal and the political. Do you see your work as a vehicle for social change?
SM: Yes, my work is a vehicle for social change as much as it is a vessel for inner change.
CFSW: You've performed in
SM: I like the laid back island vibe and the greenery.
CFSW: You were on the Van Slam Team last year, what's your best memory from CFSW 08?
SM: Choose Your Own Adventure on finals stage. Van Slam!
CFSW: What can people expect when you step on stage this year as a feature at the Pan-African Showcase?
SM: 1)PROPS 2)AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION 3)THE BLACK PIONEERS OF
CFSW: Finally, the Dating Game question: If your poetry was the cover of a vinyl album, what would it look like/be titled?
SM: It would be a big tree. The face in the trunk would be me, the roots would be my beard spelling SCRUFFMOUTH, the branches would be my afro, and there would be stuff in the tree like children playing in a tree house, birds, fruits, afro picks and whatnot. The title would be embossed in gold and it would read AURIGINAL.
Scruffmouth features at the Pan-African Showcase on Friday Nov 13. Admission is by donation. Check out www.cfsw09.com for more details.
Monday, November 2, 2009
CFSW 09 caught up with her to get her take on homey goodness of CFSW, singing better and Werner Herzog.
CFSW 09: Barbara, you are long-time Alumni of CFSW. What is so special about CFSW to the Canadian spoken word scene? Do you have a favourite memory of past festivals?
What's that one by that French guy, the one everyone sees in first year film... Oh, forget it, I'm not impressing anyone.
Listen, we wouldn't be a short film. We'd be Fitzcarraldo, by Werner Herzog. It's the one where the main character drags a ship over a mountain so that he can build an opera house in the jungle. Herzog was accused of enslaving the native population to make the film, because he ACTUALLY dragged the ship over the mountain. People DIED! The scene in the film where they show the boat going up the mountain only lasts, like 20 seconds. A moment of impassioned, debaucherous hyperbole, for no reason except that it's awesome. That's us. Come see the show. We will drag a ship over a mountain (but we won't enslave anyone).
The Fugitives rock the late night stage 11pm Friday, November 13– Tickets are $10 at Solstice Cafe and Lyle’s Place. Check out The Fugitives for yourself http://www.fugitives.ca/
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We checked with him to get his take on spoken word in Canada, family storytelling and why poetry is like video games.
CFSW 09: You are known for 2 things: your mile-a-minute delivery and your crazy stories. How would YOU describe your work?
ZJ: I've always considered my work to be real Life, w/ a little bit of rhythm. The majority of my writing is non-fiction, socially based, and opinionated - but also as universally appealing as possible. The years I spent on the streets of North America taught me that a person's time and energy is one of the most valuable things they can share w/ you; and as such I have always been of the opinion that if people are going to listen, then the performer has a responsibility to say something worth hearing.
CFSW 09: You are an incredibly engaging storyteller. Who told you stories while you were growing up? Was there an influential storyteller in your life?
ZJ: Growing up on the Haisla Reserve in Kitima'at, BC, it was my Grandfather, Tom Nyce Sr., who would tell stories as he carved canoes in the yard; keeping the oral tradition of our people alive. He was already quite old by the time I started paying any attention to my Grandpa's stories, but my father had the presence of mind to haul 8-year-old me, along w/ one of those old classroom tape recorders, over to Baba's house every Sunday where we would spend three hours recording whatever stories the old carver wanted to tell. Sometimes my father would ask for specific stories and other times we would just sit there and let Grandpa speak.
I can't claim to remember many of the stories he told us in any great detail, but I know as a fact that sitting there listening to my Grandfather tell stories to my father and I - and my father collecting each and every one like some endangered species - taught me the importance and social benefit of story-telling.
CFSW 09: What's inspiring you these days? What is the next project on your plate?
ZJ: For the most part my inspiration comes from the immediate world around me. I try and stay as socially aware and informed as possible, and when I come across a topic that I feel needs to be addressed I will usually try and juxtapose it w/ a story from my own past. I have found that this helps me internalize the topic, while adding a layer of personal intimacy that appeals to the naturally voyeuristic edge of Humanity.
CFSW 09: You're one of two Aboriginal features at CFSW Open Mic on Wednesday. Without giving too much away, what can people expect from your performance?
ZJ: Being one of the features at the Aboriginal Showcase is a great honour for me, and while I am obviously proud of my full-blooded heritage, Native issues have been a difficult subject for me to write on. As a Southern Albertan Blackfoot raised in Northern BC I have seen many aspects of my peoples existence, both negative and positive, and have seen the impact that reserve Live, apathy, and the systematic assimilation of our culture have had on my People.
CFSW 09: You've been to CFSW before as part of the Van Slam Team. What was that experience like? What advice would you give to first-time competitors?
ZJ: I have competed at CFSW three times since 2005 and every single year I have seen the event expand and develop. Canada has such a rich and storied past, and such a proud and varied population that we consistently pull together some of the greatest performers from across the greatest country on Earth, and spend a week together growing and adding to the terra firma of Canadian creationism.
ZJ: If my performance was a video game it would probably be Dance Dance Revolution, for centipedes.....
Zaccheus Jackson features 3:30pm, Wednesday November 11 at the Victoria Event Centre.
Monday, October 26, 2009
ST: Well for starters, Spoken Word can be much more than just a poem. Spoken Word can also be story telling, monologue and some people even consider some forms of stand-up comedy to be part of the genre.
However in comparing spoken word poetry to say traditional poetry; I'd say that the idea of spoken word is to find the best way to orally connect with the audience. Sometimes that can incorporate oral sounds and emphasis on cadence. Generally the voice plays a greater role.
ST: It varies from year to year. Each city puts their own spin on the production. However it has always been anchored by the National Slam competition.
This year there are twelve teams competing from cities across Canada. If you're going to get in to spoken word, that would be a good place to start. Furthermore, this year we have a ton of day events from open mics to showcases featuring Aboriginal performers, Female performers, Pan African performers and Queer/Transgender performers.
CFSW: You've said that this year's CFSW is West Coast vibe - what do you mean by that?
ST: We have performers coming from all across the country. Some have never even been to Victoria before. So we want to show them some of what the west coast is all about. For example one of the morning events that we are doing is called 'Yoga Poetry'. To me, that just screams west coast.
ST: Again, I believe that we're setting many new presidents for the festival. For starters we have a slew of late evening events from the erotica show, to a poetry decathlon and finally a late night cabaret featuring spoken word/musical fusion group 'The Fugitives'. As far as I know the late night events have never been done before.
ST: At the risk of giving the cliched athlete answers; Like any competition, play hard, but don't take it too seriously. The old slam adage is "The points are not the point, the point is poetry." And when you step up to that microphone...bring it!
ST: What does adrenaline taste like?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We know it's summer, but we couldn't resist bringing you Chris Masson's solo show "Pathos, Punchlines and Painkillers".
Chris Masson is the reigning Montreal Slam Champion, and one of the stand out performers from the Calgary CFSW Nationals last year. Now he's got a one-man show and we're bringing it to you.
Inside joke- just for you. At the Calgary festival the graphic designer forgot to change the name of the jpeg, and on the flyer he was listed as 'Reach Crop' (see photo). Now he's known informally across Canada by this nickname.
Check out this video of a live performance. Then mark July 29th on your calendar and get down to see Reach Crop!
Love Like Normal
Pathos, Punchlines and Painkillers
7:00 July 29
Victoria Events Centre
Monday, June 8, 2009
You thought we were taking the summer off?!
Ha! We're here with a vengeance and we're sharing the stage with some illustrious fellows with AWESOME FACEs: RC Weslowski and Chris Gilpin. Also featuring is Victoria's own Joe McDougall.
Thursday June 25
Solstice Cafe 7:30
$15 @ the door
This is part of Festival of the Folk- a weekend long celebration of local folk! So, come on down and see your slam team in action for the first time when they're not being judged!
So the slam season is over now. Speaking as a fully-fledged member of the Victoria Slam Team, it was sure an exciting one. Thanks for judging me ;-)
We went from one slam a month last year to two a month this year! And the calibre of poets that graced our stage- wow. I'm pleased in the growth of our scene for sure. I really can't wait to see everybody back in September with a fistful of new poems.
Thanks so much to Kristy for being our slam master with the green hat, and everyone who worked the door/set-up/sound. It's really a community effort eh?
Considering how much fun these last few months were I can't wait to have the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) here in November.
Thanks for listening.
Friday, May 22, 2009
HOORAY (great cheering and flag waving and much crying with joy)
So what now?
Well, your first chance to see this good-looking and great-sounding group is June 25th at the Solstice Festival of the Folk! http://www.myspace.com/solsticecafe
Thank you to each and every one of you who helped set up, do sound, door, posters, judging, cheering, performing and beering drinking all season. You are all a TEN!
Friday, May 8, 2009
We heard poems without similes from Matthew Christopher Davidson, a message from the future from Skawt Chonz and a diatribe to shitty love songs from Dave Morris. It was a night of laughter, tears and cheers.
And who ended up on top at the end of the night? Here's your top eight:
Matthew Christopher Davidson
Come on May 21 armed with fan signs and lungs ready to cheer, because only five of these poets will make it onto the Victoria Slam Team!
See you at the Finals.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Matthew Christopher Davidson
What was the critieria for qualifying?
Slam winners were automatically advanced to the Semi-Finals. There were 4 competitors who won slams in the regular season.
The other 8 competitors were decided based on 1)making it into the second round in at least 1 slam 2)having competed in at least 2 slams.
See you next Thursday for the Semis!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Here are your scores for the April 16 Slam:
4th- Tom 52.7
3rd- Jane Bee 53.4
2nd (3-way tie!)- Ryefield, Meisha Lily and Mily 54.1
1st- Missie Peters 54.9
Great job everyone. We'll let you know who's in the semi-finals soon.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
5th Place- Victoria 51.5
4th Place- Ted 52.3
3rd Place- Marla O'Marla 52.4
2nd Place- Matthew Christopher Davidson 52.7
1st Place- Skawt 53.7
Also, Victoria's Poet Laureate graced us with her presence and helped judged. Thank you to her for participating!
Next slam April 16 @ Solstice Cafe.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
A poet is accountable to their community, to their audience. A poet should be saying what an audience needs to hear and wants to hear. If you are too far ahead of the curve or preaching to the choir, then the judges (audience members) won't give you the high scores. Meet the audience where they are at, and take them somewhere new.
Competition brings out the best performances. There is that extra pressure in competition that builds anticipation in the audience and drive in the performer. It's the difference between a pick-up game of b-ball behind the school and the championship game.
Finally, the points are not the point. I slam because I love to. Story: Mighty Mike McGee didn't get into the second round for two years. And he's Mike McGee.
That's why I slam. Why do you compete?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
That's right, you and a friend get in for half price! If you come together... so this is perfect opportunity to convince your roommate to turn off the T.V. and join you for a night on the town, to bring your latest crush out for a cheap and unique date, or spend some time with your parents.
Ok, maybe not that last one.
But come out and bring a friend March 19, for some of the rockingest poetry this side of the Rockies!
Monday, March 9, 2009
January 15th - Dave Morris
February 5th - Skawt
February 19th - Missie Peters
March 5th - Dave Morris
March 19th - Matthew Christopher Davidson
And second, a slam-by-slam breakdown of the second-round scores
Dave Morris - 56.2
Missie Peters - 56.1
Anushka - 54.8
Kat - 51.9
Skawt - 56.3
Matthew - 55.7
Missie Peters - 53.7
Marla - 51.7
Brett - 50.8
Missie Peters - 59.0
Dave Morris - 57.4
Kimberly - 56.7
Matthew - 55.6
Skawt - 54.3
Dave Morris - 58.3
Skawt - 58.2
Marla - 57.9
Matthew - 57.3
Missie Peters - 56.3
Matthew - 56.8
Anushka - 55.6
Steven - 55.3
Marla - 54.0
Misha Lilly - 53.1
Skawt - 52.5
JP Lawrence - 51.0
Vanessa - 50.0
Friday, March 6, 2009
1st Place- Dave Morris
2nd Place- Skawt
3rd Place- Marla O'Marla
4th Place- Matthew Davidson
5th Place- Missie Peters
The night was a great success including poems about money, healthcare, breaking up, and being a woman. Next Slam is March 19.
Stay tuned for points and standings...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Now, Slam is about involving your community in your performance, so there should be some active dialogue going on. And Slam is about being accountable to your community, so if the audience doesn't like something, or likes something, they should voice it- literally.
And Slam is a competition. Someone brought up a great point, that in other slam scenes, it is the other competitors that heckle the performer as a way to throw them off their game, or get them to engage in the audience. In Vancouver you will often hear, "I've seen you naked!" (although it's probably not very shocking here in Victoria where so many poets have participated in Poetry in the Raw).
We want to encourage interactivity at our slams. The show can't happen without volunteer audience judges, and every audience member is an integral part of what makes a great Slam. And unlike most slam scenes in Canada, we don't have alcohol as 'social lubrication' so we need to build a culture that supports audience participation.
The best comment in the discussion was that negative heckling, "You suck" is unacceptable, but emotional response to the poem (cheering or booing) is not only acceptable but desirable.
So come out and cheer away, but be mindful of that your 'heckling' is supportive. Because, "We are all a ten!"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In celebration this very odd poster has been crafted to celebrate the good news.
Also, it has been loosely decided how semi-finals and finals will go down to determine the slam team and how we will decide who will make it to finals. We're just tightening the last few nuts and bolts, dotting some t's and crossing some i's, pulling up the carpet and putting in hardwood floors, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, biting off our noses to spite our faces, etc. It shouldn't take long. Stay tuned.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Adam Ungstad- 23.9
Kadie K- 24.2
Meisha Lily- 24.4
Strong Cottonwood- 25.9
Missie Peters- 28.0
Dave Morris- 29.5
Missie Peters- 56.1
Dave Morris- 56.2
Thanks to everyone who performed, judged, volunteered their time, cheered, laughed, boo'ed and whatever else you did. Stay posted for details on the next slam.