Thursday, December 10, 2009

Victoria Poetry Slam Returns Early!

So last you heard we were going to be starting up regular slams in January.

Problem is, we couldn't wait till then! We're too excited about performance poetry and judging and being judged that there was just no way we we could hold off until after the holidays. So, for those of you who are as impatient as the rest of us we've thrown together a pretty wicked kick-off to the new poetry slam season. We're talking about a licensed venue, we're talking about a rowdy crowd, we're talking hilarious stand-up poet Mike McGee as feature. You like what you're hearing? (Hearing in this case can be substituted with the word reading.) Yes, you do. You actually love it. Ok, so first things first...who is Mike McGee? You don't know? Well we think you might be lying but we'll hook you up with his bio anyway. If reading about him isn't enough to get you out on a frosty December night you might want to check out some video of the man in action.

Alright, so now you're sold on the feature but don't forget there will also be local poets battling it out for supremacy and your job is to come out and let them know what you think. The audience is what Slam is all about so we need a good audience. Obviously, a good audience includes you so here are the details. Victoria Poetry Slam: Tuesday, December 15. Cabin 12 at 607 Pandora. (If Lower Johnson is the shopping district these days, we're turning lower Pandora into the poetry district!) Just $5 at the door. Doors will open at 7 for the show to kick off at 7:30. Come out and be prepared for awesome!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CFSW is Over - Now What?

CFSW blew my mind.

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

CFSW Speaks Out: Sheri-D Wilson

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.

You are hosting/festuring at CFSW's first-ever Erotica Show. What can people expect from you in terms poetic sexiness?

If expectations are necessary – then I think, expect the ridiculous, the absurd…there’s nothing more erotic than humour.

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?

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

Always changing


You've been called the mama of dada. How would you describe your performance style?

In a state of discovery

Finally, the Dating Game question: If your poetry was a chinese fortune cookie, what would the fortune be?

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CFSW Speaks Out: Scruffmouth

Today we shine the CFSW spotlight on Vancouver spoken word artist Scruffmouth. This former Van Slam team member is featuring at the Pan-African Showcase on November 13th 3:30 at the Victoria Event Centre.

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 Victoria before, what do you like best about the Vic vibe?
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?

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 for more details.

Monday, November 2, 2009

CFSW Speaks Out: Barbara Adler

These days, she most often seen cradling a vintage accordion or touring her unique brand of storytelling around B.C.’s North. But Barbara Adler’s also a member of the famed Canadian storytelling rock bad The Fugitives (headlining the Late Night Cabaret on Nov 13).

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?
BA: My favorite special thing about CFSW is how it has managed to keep its home-y, friendly quality, while becoming the biggest thing in the Canadian Spoken Word scene. Even though there are more teams than ever competing, the festival is personable, supportive, and a little bit folksy. I mean, I think it's great that the competition isn't as intense as in the National Poetry Slam, and that winning CFSW isn't some kind of super-star moment. I'm not sure I know who the best slam strategist at CFSW is, and I think that rocks.
My favorite memory comes from my first festival, where somehow the organizers in Ottawa managed to scramble together enough soup and sandwiches to feed everyone. There was this genuine sense that we were all going to take care of each other. I think there should always be free food, even if it's ,like, a pickle.
CFSW 09: Your personal style has evolved over the years. How would you describe the work that you are doing now?
BA: Ha would I describe it... Erm, well, on one front I've become very interested in harnessing longer format storytelling to some of the tricks that performance poetry does really well: language that sounds good, rhythm, imagery that knows how to jump. But if I were to be really honest, I'd have to admit that I'm spending most of my time trying to figure out how to play the 120-button piano accordion well enough to mash it together with pseudo-rap. My favorite things right now are M.I.A and Geoff Berner, and Veda Hille. I think it's starting to show.
CFSW 09: The Fugitives just cut an album this year. What direction did the band take with this project?
BA: Ah-ha! We learned how to sing better and paid much more attention to the instrumentation. The new EP, Find Me, is much more orchestrated and lush to the ear. There is less focus on Brendan and I having poetry moments, because we are pulling more of our weight in the harmonies and instrumentation. We are really proud that the reviews of the EP have all mentioned the strong singing.
Actually, what's funny is that some of the reviewers have actually seemed offended that we are "ruining" perfectly good roots-folk harmonies with weirdo poetry. As a writer, I take it as kind of a back-handed compliment: I'm ruining music! I'm in a band that makes music! Cool!
CFSW 09: You guys are playing the late-night carbaret on Friday night. What can the audience expect from your show?
BA: High energy crescendo; personable banter and warm hearts; theatrics involving banjo, accordion and acoustic guitar; another viable way to take spoken word, kicking and screaming, into the bars.
CFSW 09: Finally, the Dating Game question: If the Fugitives msuic was a short film, what would it be like?
BA: Oh man, when I first read this question, I thought it meant you were going to get us dates. Shoot.

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CFSW Speaks Out: Zaccheus Jackson

He’s larger than life and twice as fast – Vancouver’s Zaccheus Jackson is a modern storyteller with a hiphop twist, and he’s featuring at CFSW 09.

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?

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.

As far as the mile-a-minute delivery, well, that I can only blame on the ADHD.

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.

I just got back from the Individual World Poetry Slam and whenever I come back from a poet gathering I am always over-flowing w/ inspiration. My next release will be a 13-track disc called "Dimes, Elephants and Airplanes", composed of material I've written since the release of my first disc "huManifesto" in November 2007; but currently I'm working w/ JakubEvolved and a few other East Van cats on a Hip Hop project that should see the light of day in mid 2010.

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.

Personally, I am a proponent of the repatriation of Tribal lands, but also the structured removal of any and all government support for Aboriginals; which is obviously not a popular opinion. Many of my people are set in their ways, and the removal of federal support is sure to result in the decimation of three generations of First Nations people; but I believe that after that - weak-kneed and unsure of ourselves, but full of destiny - the Aboriginal peoples of Canada will once more begin to stand, proud and strong.

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.

Having represented Western Canada at iWPS for the last two years has also given me a larger appreciation of Canadian performance poetry as a whole. I find that our poets are very edgy and honest and willing to take chances that some of our American counterparts may not. I'm sure this has to do w/ the fact that (unless you're Dwayne Morgan, *grin*) it's damn near impossible to make a decent living off of Poetry in Canada, whereas in the States there is such a prevalence of mass media that damn near everyone is on a constant look-out for their 15 minutes.

I love being surrounded by hundreds of poets at national gatherings in the States, but be it Halifax or Victoria, CFSW has always felt like home.

CFSW 09: Finally, the Dating Game question: if you're performance was a video game, what kind of video game would it be?

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

CFSW Speaks Out: Steve Thompson

The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word is two weeks away and Victoria is getting ready to host a mind-blowing week of spoken word, art, and inspiration.

But what is exactly IS CFSW 09? We sat down with festival director and former Victoria Slam Team member Steven J. Thompson to get the low-down.

CFSW 09: Ok, seriously - what's the difference between spoken word and poetry?
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.

CFSW: This is the 6th year of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Can you explain exactly what happens at the festival?
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.

Also, whether it's deserved or not, the west coast has a reputation for being a bit more socially and environmentally conscious. This year we are setting new presidents with the festival by doing little things from not selling bottled water, to making ethical choices in terms of sponsorship.

CFSW: You've really beefed up activities and shows at the festival - what kinds of things are you doing at this year's festival that have never been done before?
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.

We also have a number of what we are calling 'value added' surprises. Without giving away the surprises let's just say that when your mind isn't being blown by what's on stage, it'll be blown by what's happening around you.

CFSW: You've been to CFSW twice as a competitor. Any advice for this year's teams?
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!

CFSW: Finally, the Dating Game question: If this year's festival was a flavour of ice cream, what flavour would it be?
ST: What does adrenaline taste like?

To find out more about CFSW 09 and to view the full schedule visit

Tickets on sale at the Solstice Cafe and Lyle's Place.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vic Slam Team Brings the Verse

The Victoria Slam Team is featuring at Tongues of Fire October 22.

This is their last show before they compete in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word November 10-14.

So if you want a taste of Slam - come and check them out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Surf's Up!

Victoria Slam Team continue their summer of love with a performance at the One Wave Festival.

Come celebrate the unique and beautiful cultures of the Pacific with a rich collaboration of local artists, traditional South Pacific music and dance and delicious Pacific treats.

One Wave Festival

Friday August 28


Solstice Cafe

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Better Than Your Mom's Valium

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

Vic Slam Team Gig the First

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!

Reflection on Slam Season

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

And the winners are...

Dave Morris, Skawt Chonnz, Matthew Christopher Davidson and Missie Peters! Congrats to Jane Bee for making alternate.

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!

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

Oh Snap! Victoria's Top Eight Poets Go to Finals

And what a night it was! With Slam-master Kristy Westendorp in her fuzzy green hat of impartiality and tweleve bright-eyed poets eager to Slam glory.

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:

Missie Peters
Dave Morris
Skawt Chonz
Jane Bee
Vicky Philbert
Matthew Christopher Davidson
Marla O'Marla
Kat Eschner

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

Semi-Final Competitors

Here are your 2009 Semi-finalists:

Dave Morris
Kat Eschner
Marla O'Marla
Matthew Christopher Davidson
Meisha Lily
Missie Peters
Ryefield Ford
Skawt Chonzz
Tom Fowler
Vicky Philibert

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

Slam Semi-Finals May 7!

I think this speaks for itself. Stay-tuned for who the lucky 12 competitors are!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last Chance Slam Scores

This is it- the last game before the playoffs- I mean semi-finals (we don't watch hockey do we?).

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

Slam Standings April 2

Here are the scores for the April 2 Slam:

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

Why do we compete?

For all those of you who wonder, "Why would you ever want your poetry judged? It just seems so harsh." Here are the reasons why I compete:

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?

Missie Peters

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2-1 Entry to Celebrate Locals' Month

March is Locals' Month at Tongues of Fire, and to celebrate, Vic Slam is offering 2-for-1 admission to the March 19th Slam.

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

Standing Scores for the Slam Season

Here they are folks, straight off the score sheets, the standing scores for the 09 season of the Victoria Poetry Slam. First off, our 1st place winners, who've been ensured a place in the finals...

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

January 15th

Dave Morris - 56.2
Missie Peters - 56.1
Anushka - 54.8
Skawt 52.5
Kat - 51.9

February 5th

Skawt - 56.3
Matthew - 55.7
Missie Peters - 53.7
Marla - 51.7
Brett - 50.8

February 19th

Missie Peters - 59.0
Dave Morris - 57.4
Kimberly - 56.7
Matthew - 55.6
Skawt - 54.3

March 5th

Dave Morris - 58.3
Skawt - 58.2
Marla - 57.9
Matthew - 57.3
Missie Peters - 56.3

March 19th

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

March 5 Slam Results

Quick and Dirty:
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

Is it ok to heckle at a Slam?

At the Tongues of Fire AGM this week the issue of heckling came up in discussion. Is it ok to heckle?

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


So the poetry powers that be got together and were like "Hey dudes, I think it's seriously time to think about having more poetry in Victoria. People are thirsty for it... they're hungry... they're, dare I say, horny for poetry. We have to give them what they want. Which is clearly more poetry!" THEREFORE... it has been decreed that any Thursday of the month you can swing by Solstice and there will be poetry being thrown down. (Unless it's one of those weird months where there are five Thursdays, then you're on your own.) We have added an extra slam to the first Thursday of the month so swing by to judge, compete or watch any first or third Thursday and of course, Tongues of Fire will continue with its regularly scheduled time every second and fourth Thursday at 7:30.

In celebration this very odd poster has been crafted to celebrate the good news.
Slam Poster

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

Holy smokes Victoria! You showed up in full force last night for the first slam of '09 and faces were rocked right off. It was incredible to see over 80 people cram into Solstice to cheer on our local poets. Dave Morris took first prize by a hair (a poster sized 90210 puzzle) but everyone who competed gave it their all and I'd like to hope everyone had a tremendous amount of fun. For anyone who missed it, here were the official scores of the evening.

First Round
Tom- 23.1
Adam Ungstad- 23.9
Kadie K- 24.2
Meisha Lily- 24.4
Luke- 24.5
Strong Cottonwood- 25.9
Brett- 26.1
Anushka- 26.3
Kat- 26.3
Skawt- 27.4
Missie Peters- 28.0
Dave Morris- 29.5

Final Scores
Kat- 51.9
Anushka- 54.8
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.