A fest for the poet in you
The 11th annual Calgary Spoken Word Festival is running now
Started by prominent Calgary poet Sheri-D Wilson in 2003, the Calgary Spoken Word Festival is back, running April 1 – 6. In just six days, the festival puts on a variety of events that celebrate poetry and spoken word — including open mics, poetry slams, workshops, panels and DEB Talks, which described as a relative of TED talks that “speaks the spark, thinks the dark, rolls in the light, in ideas, ponder-osa — to new realms, ancient; questioning time and space.”
Now three days in, the festival is well underway. But, if you’ve been missing out, there are still plenty of events left to get your spoken word fix.
If you’re into slams and open mic nights, there are three events that might pique your interest. The Youth SLAM! on April 5 will see youth under the age of 19 share their poetry. The open mic night, also on April 5, gives anyone the chance to get involved and share their poetry. On April 6 is Story SLAM!, where participants share their (mostly) true stories that revolve around a specific theme – this time, it’s “escape.”
If slams and open mic nights aren’t really your scene, there are still a lot of events to take in. On April 3, some of the men of spoken word take the stage in Smart Men Hot Words, which promises to be “poetry’s Chippendales.” On April 4, it’s the ladies’ turn in Edgy Women Ignite the Night.
There’s also Saturday Night – Live – To the Web, the comedy-driven evening that will feature five poets and MC Billeh Nickerson for an event that will be full of comedy.
The goal of the festival, in addition to celebrating poetry and spoken word, is education. So, if you’re new to spoken word, any event is a good choice. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover that you love it.