WHAATTT?! WHOA. What. A. Night!

26 poems. 3 rounds. 1 amazing feature.

With a sold out of show of 180 fans of poetry, the Guelph Spoken Word Slam Finals was the hot ticket in Guelph last night. And by hot I mean the stage was set alight by poetry, mics were rocked and minds were blown. There were nine incredible poets vying for a spot on the 2016 Guelph Poetry Slam team:

Atticus Aaron Edwards, Bassam, Eitan Gallant, Elise Gordezky, Erin E. Ratic, Fannon Holland, Patrick Kelly, Rafay Ansari and Truth Is …

Shout outs to our calibration poets: Dan Murray, Lisa B. & Tomy Bewick and dutiful host Beth Anne Ellipsis.

The night started with ticket-hopefuls lined up at 6:00pm to snag the few tickets left to sell at the door. Volunteers arrived to set up the Guelph Youth Music Centre for the night: and they were The Best. Hip hip for volunteers! Doors opened at 7:00pm and the theatre was full in the first fifteen minutes.

Round One saw poets performing works on topics like silence, science, language and love.

Round One scores were: Bassam 28.6, Eitan 28.4, Truth Is… 28.4, Elise 27.6, E. Ratic 27.3, Rafay 26.7, Patrick 26.1, Fannon 26.1, Atticus 23. 9.

With the end of Round One the competing poets had a bit of a breather while D’eve Archer then treated us to an extraordinary musical performance. With pulsing beats and a sublime voice, her performance took the crowd to new levels of energy and enthusiasm. Please keep an ear out for the release date of her latest project sometime in the spring!

The highlight of the intermission for many was the great food and drinks, with beer generously sponsored by Wellington Brewery, pakoras and samosa from Diwa. New friends connected over the poetry and music they just experienced and debated who might make the team after the second round.

Round Two saw a reverse order of poets from the first round and with incredibly tight scores, tight performances and brilliant material it was a competitive and nail-biting round for all watching and performing.

The combined scores of round one and two determined who would move on to represent Guelph at local, provincial and national events. The scores for round two/combined scores of round one and two (out of 60) were: Eitan 28.5/56.9, Bassam 28.3/56.9, E. Ratic 29.0/56.3, Elise 28.4/56.0, Fannon 29.5/55.6, Truth is… 27.0/55.4, Rafay 27.9/54.6, Patrick 26.9/53.0, Atticus 25.8/49.7

The five members of the team and (y)our poetic champions are: Bassam, Eitan, Fannon, E. Ratic and Elise. Congratulations poets! We are so proud to have the spoken word community experience all the heart and fire you bring to the stage.

Only a couple of minutes separated round two and three. The third and final round featured the five new members of the 2016 Guelph Poetry Slam slam team as they competed for the title of Grand Slam Champion; who will have the privilege of representing Guelph at the Canadian Individual national competition in Vancouver, BC. With continued extraordinary performances the final round scores/combined total score out of 90 were: Bassam 29.8/86.7, Fannon 29.9/85.5, Eitan 28.3/85.2, E. Ratic 27.3/83.6, Elise 27.4/83.4

The night was a huge success because of the lively, active and enthusiastic
participation of the crowd, the performers and the volunteers. We are so grateful for the energy and commitment of everyone there: thank you! And your monies! Because of the success of the evening the team will start their fundraising to journey to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Winnipeg Manitoba with a whopping $680! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on how to continue your support along the way.

Finally – (did you read this whole thing?!) We want to hear from you! Share your highlight of the night either here or by emailing: info@guelphspokenword.com. We want to hear your thoughts on the night!

Holy Laughing Pants, Batman.

Holy laughing pants, batman. Thanks to all who came out last night to the annual Laugh it Off slam. So much laughter! So many brilliant poems! So much joy!

With special performances from the MakingBox‬ troupe, a feature performance by comedian-extraordinaire Stephanie Tolev, and non-stop slam action from a bevy of hilarious-heartfull poets, it was, in short, a super night.

So you’re thinking what next? Good question! You’re going to want to get your ticket for Guelph Poetry Slam Finals on January 16, 2016. The not-to-be-missed event will see top poets from the season compete for a place on the slam team. The very same slam team that will represent Guelph at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It’s kinda a big deal. So big that we’ll be selling advance tickets. You’ll want to stay tuned to get them, as they’ll go fast.

Think you might want to compete for a place on the slam team? Get in touch to see if you’ve qualified.

Don’t want to wait til January 16th to get more of the good ole poetry? Neither do we! Try something new in 2016 and check out our monthly Off the Page: A Writer’s Open Mic on Tuesday January 5th at the Red Brick Cafe.

Questions? Send us a message or email info@guelphspokenword.com

Welcome a New Edition to the Team!


Guelph Spoken Word is very excited to announce a new edition to the team! Danielle Workman joins the board as Volunteer Coordinator! Join us in welcoming Danielle! If your interested to get involved in GSW by volunteering she’s the one to talk to. You can reach her at volunteer@guelphspokenword.com Volunteers needed for upcoming Finals Poetry Slam, Jan 16, 2016.

About Danielle:
Danielle attended her first open mic less than a year ago and having just gone through an angsty bad break up had plenty of writing and sharing to do! What she found was an incredibly safe, supportive community that embraced creative expression. When she went to her first slam her life was forever changed! Writing has long been a passion for Danielle and now there was new life and aspirations added to the list. Danielle is thrilled to be on the Guelph Spoken Word board! She is dedicated to continuing to build this community and awareness for this art form!

December 1, 2014

In light of recent events and conversations in the National Spoken Word community, Guelph Spoken Word has decided to develop a policy that includes a clear and transparent grievance process. We have come to feel that it is imperative to have a mechanism in place to process conflict, complaints and/or instances of grave harm that are brought to our attention.
As the Guelph Spoken Word board strives to develop and provide this new resource to our community, we would also like to recognize our limitations as volunteers; in regards to capacity, training and financial resources.
The Guelph Spoken Word board is currently reaching out to other spoken word organizers and local organizations to learn about their policies, best practices and processes. As a board we will review this information and other examples that come to our attention to draft a policy of our own. It is our intention that this policy can be used as tool, in our interest to continually improve the Guelph Spoken Word community.

If you have examples that you would like considered in our development process please
e-mail them to bethanne@guelphspokenword.com

Yours in growth… The Guelph Spoken Word Board
Beth Anne Ellipsis
Mark MacKinnon
Patrick Kelly
Truth Is …