Verses Festival of Words

Date/Time: Tue Apr 09, 2013, All Day     0

Location: , , ,


The mission of the Verses Festival of Words is to celebrate the transformative power of words – written, spoken or sung; to engage diverse groups in cutting-edge, live performances as both audience and participants; to present influential artists from both the oral and literary traditions, and to encourage the next generation of performers and writers. Verses embraces a wide definition of literature and orature that includes page-based poetry, oral storytelling, and singer-songwriters.

Verses takes place annually at venues clustered around East Vancouver’s Commercial Drive. This cultural district is the heart of Vancouver’s spoken word community.


April 8, 2013 – Van Slam Finals Night featuring Truth Is…

Vancouver poets have been competing all winter to qualify for team slam playoffs. The top eight poets earn spots in this final round and a chance to make the 2013 Van Slam team.

April 9, 2013 – Ivan Coyote & Veda Hille

East Van favourites and long-time collaborators, Ivan Coyote and Veda Hille team up for a magical night of music and storytelling.

April 9, 2013 – Mashed Poetics – Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits

Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits will be sung by Chelsea ‘The Voice’ Johnson backed by a live band. Between songs, poets will perform new works inspired by the music.

April 10, 2013 – East Van Poetry Salon: Lights, Camera, Poetry!

A screening of some of the best poetry videos accompanied by an analysis of how and why they work. Poetry videos will be organized into one-shot / performance, music video style, and animation.

April 10, 2013 – Orientation for C.I.P.S. Poets

We’ll go over the fine print of the rules, have the bout draw, talk about safe space, meet one another, and get psyched for a week of amazing camaraderie.

April 10, 2013 – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Bouts #1 & #2

This night will kick off the 2013 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.

April 10, 2013 – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Bouts #3 & #4

On the first night, 40 of the best poets from across Canada will be slamming with four-minute and one-minute poems.

April 10, 2013 – C.R. Avery, Regie Cabico & Sheri-D Wilson

This cabaret will disregard acceptable taste in favour of the exceptionally tasty. Through the realms of raunch, these artists will invert normalized concepts of sex and sexuality, inviting us into a new land of kink and freedom.

April 11, 2013 – Killing Puppies: an Editing Workshop

Sometimes you need to eliminate your favourite image or most clever line to create a better poem. Taught by Jillian Christmas, 2012 Van Slam Grand Champ.

April 11, 2013 – East Van Poetry Salon: What is Slam Poetry?

Our panel of overanalyzers, aka ‘experts’, discuss the nature of slam poetry. Is it a poetic genre or simply an event format?

April 11, 2013 – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Bouts #5 & #6

Day two will see some poets flinging caution aside at they try to move up in the rankings, while other poets will be under pressure to maintain their position.

April 11, 2013 – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Bouts #7 & #8

On Day Two, poets will be slamming with two minute and three minute poems.

April 11, 2013 – Lillian Allen

Two-time Juno Award winning dub poet, Lillian Allen performs her politically-infused style of poetry. Allen’s political themes and depth of vision are woven in an enchanting and unique blend of orality and the written word.

April 12, 2013 – Beau Sia’s Poetry Masterclass

Beau Sia puts on an advanced poetry workshop. Participants are expected to have some prior experience with writing and performing poetry.

April 12, 2013 – Fernando Raguero vs. The World

An open mic where poets match wits with the legendary Fernando Raguero.

April 12, 2013 – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Finals

The top 12 poets from prelims advance to this bout. Who will claim the title of 2013 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion?

April 12, 2013 – Erotica Slam

Let’s play with the risqué.

April 13, 2013 – Haiku Deathmatch

Using original haiku, 16 poets – or haikusters – will battle it out in a head-to-head competition judged by the audience.

April 13, 2013 – Great Black North

The Great Black North is a contemporary remix of the story of Black Canada. Poets from the anthology reading at this event are: Kevan Cameron, Dr. Mason-John aka ‘Queenie’, Wayde Compton, Adelene da Soul Poet, and Lillian Allen.

April 13, 2013 – Speak Bloody!

Write Bloody publishes the top poets in the slam movement. This showcase features Mindy Nettifee from Portland, Tara Hardy from Seattle, Mike McGee from Bellingham, and Beau Sia from L.A. in his first-ever Vancouver performance.

Full details at



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