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February 2021


A Master Class with Lillian Allen

February 28 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In this master class, we will explore the poetics of sound and utterance as we craft language and linguistic interventions to align politics and aesthetics. We will experiment with various strategies to texture voice as we become present to this particular moment that we find ourselves in. TICKETS Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Two time JUNO Award winner and trailblazer in the field of spoken word and dub…

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March 2021

CIPS Regional Qualifiers

March 6 @ 10:00 am - March 7 @ 6:00 pm

VPH Regional Qualifiers: We recognize that with the global pandemic, many spoken word series have shuttered across the country. For folks whose local poetry slam is no longer active, we will be hosting 6 regional qualifiers: Pacific, Prairies, Northern, Central, Atlantic & French Speaking. Regional qualifiers will be held March 6 & 7, 2021.  The deadline for regional qualifier registration is March 1, 2021. Register for your regional qualifier by completing this form.  ***Unlike the main competition, regional qualifiers will not…

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Tips and Tools for Online Shows with Charlie Petch 

March 21 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In this workshop, award-winning solo show performer, and lighting specialist for film and television, Charlie Petch, will take you through the principles of light, sound and script for online performance. Whether it is learning to light and sound better with what you have and dollar store solutions, or getting the gear you need to have an even more professional look, Charlie will show you tips and tricks and take you through the gear they use, and how you could set…

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April 2021


April 22 @ 8:00 am - April 24 @ 5:00 pm

Hullabaloo is BC’s Youth Spoken Word Festival featuring workshops, showcase performances and some of BC’s finest high school aged poets all sharing work for peers and audiences alike. The 2021 Festival runs April 22-24th online via Zoom.  Registration for returning teams opens on February 1st and open registration for all other schools begins on February 15th.  Participating poets will be asked to take part in poetry workshops of their choice as well as create work to be presented for online…

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Hullabaloo Spoken Word Jamboree and Alumni Showcase

April 22 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This event is originating from the Unceded Ancestral Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. For the 2021 edition of Hullabaloo we keep some of the past and forge ahead with something new.Once again we will be having our Spoken Word Jamboree to kick off the festival.  Our featured performer is Apollo the Child from Ottawa.  Apollo will be performing a 20-25 minute set of his electrifying spoken word poetry.“Khaleefa ‘Apollo the Child’ Hamdan is a spoken word poet,…

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Cotyledon Book Launch

April 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Cotyledon is filled with the poems that poets haven’t been able to share on slam stages, poems that are unconventional, poems that were crafted gently, and haven’t found a home for yet, poems that started out as a whisper, a brave thought, or an inkling. Poems that dream the world into a future poets want to be in. Funds raised from this book will go towards supporting the organization’s youth programming. The chapbook will be shared in youth-focused spaces. Many…

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Hullabaloo All Star Slam 2021 and Individual Videopoem Festival

April 23 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This event is originating from the Unceded Ancestral Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wautuh Nations. The All Star Slam is back.  This year we have two of our festival features taking part along with a returning poet from 2020 plus our wonderful host Johnny D. Trinh.  This year we feature Apollo The Child, Nisha Patel and Ruthless in a 3 round head to head All Star Slam battle.  Johnny D. Trinh will once again be your ringmaster for this…

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Stage to Page

April 24 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Vancouver Poetry House is partnering with Stage to Page Performance Society to bring a special public masterclass for Verses 2021. Industry professionals from poetry, publishing, and theatre form an all star panel that come together to workshop new poems by spoken word artists. What happens when spoken word poets publish their work for other voices to read? In this workshop, professional performers will read new works by spoken word poets, and discuss the works. Come and learn more about the…

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Talk the Talk | What is your ritual?

April 24 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

What is your Ritual that you do before you sit down and write a poem? For this Talk the Talk Vancouver Poetry House’s Artistic Director Joseph Dandurand will share what it is that he does before he drops the first word of a new poem. For Joseph Dandurand, his ritual is somewhat fluid in the sense that he may add to it. For example, he just bought his first plant ever, an ivy plant in a rustic holder and it…

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Hullabaloo Finals Night Feature with Nisha Patel and our Inaugural Team Piece Showcase

April 24 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This event is originating on the Unceded Ancestral Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wautuh Nations.   Once again we have something new and something traditional for you on our final night of Hullabaloo 2021. We kick off the night with a feature performance by 2019 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion, Nisha Patel.  She is a dynamic and thought provoking performer that can make you laugh and break your heart often within the same poem.  We are excited to have…

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Write Bloody North | Life After the Slam Q and A

April 25 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join the Write Bloody North team in a discussion about some of the opportunities that exist for poets who have honed their craft at the poetry slam. Some of the topics we will discuss include publishing, editing, multimedia, film/television, touring and the future possibilities that exist for our artform. The panellists include Alessandra Naccarato, Brad Morden, Ian Keteku and Titilope Sonuga. Live on POETV

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Write Bloody North | Showcase

April 25 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Write Bloody North is the only Canadian publisher devoted to the work of spoken word artists. Join us in this celebration Canadian spoken word with some of our past, current and future authors Lucia Misch, Brandon Wint, RC Weslowski and Sheri-D Wilson! Live on POETV

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Poets Forward: Isabella Wang Feature Performance and Workshop

April 26 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This workshop encourages participants to consider issues of the dynamic world, and to discuss why poetry IS political; IS imaginative; IS activism. How can the vulnerability of writing in this difficult time be turned into a strength, generating powerful and necessary perspectives? The pandemic brings with it overwhelming changes; yet, for the poet, channels new creative possibilities of expression. How can we remain committed to the various social, artistic and interdisciplinary spaces we occupy as responsible community citizens? We will…

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Iron Poet Gauntlet

April 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Gauntlet has been thrown! Poet legends: RC Weslowski, Charlie C Petch, and Nisha Patel are the Verses 2021 Iron Poets. They have spent centuries training for this moment. They have opened the floor to face challengers to compete in zainy poetry games. Hosted by Johnny D Trinh and Brad Morden, surprise poet challengers will be invited to step into the ring and participate in whacky, funny, unexpected games, vying for a sweet $100 cash prize. Like the Pop song…

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Translating Poetry into Song: The Northwest Kid Feature Performance and Workshop

April 27 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

If you’re a poet and you’re also into making music, here’s the101 on how to get started. This workshop will show you how poetry translates to song through rhythm. A stanza is 4 lines of poetry; each line is a bar of music. We’ll listen to some instrumentals together, break it down into four-bar chunks, and do some creative songwriting to capture our feelings and experiences through metaphor and sensory work. Learn about song structure through poetry and how other…

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Mashed Sabbath 50

April 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Mashed Poetics is a night of spoken word and music mashup.  Established in 2009 this will be the 50th edition of Mashed Poetics (a Verses Festival mainstay) and we’ll be featuring Black Sabbath’s album Paranoid.  9 different poets will create new works to perform at this event including the reunion of the 1996 Vancouver Poetry Slam Team.  It’s the 25th anniversary of their barrier breaking trip and performances at the National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon.  We’ll also have our…

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El Jones Feature Performance and Workshop

April 28 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

El Jones will lead participants in a FREE writing workshop that will develop beginner, intermediate, and core skills in writing for page and stage. All skill levels, members of the public, and students welcome! There will be ASL interpreters at this workshop. FREE, REGISTER HERE El Jones is a poet, professor and activist living in Halifax. She was born in Wales and grew up in Winnipeg. She was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. Her book, Live From the…

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Collective and Individual Poetry Creation with Lee Maracle

April 29 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

We do not have to write alone. We can riff off one another as we immerse ourselves in poetry creation.  We will do both individual work and collective work in this workshop.  Poetry strengthens the body, sharpens the mind and engages the heart and spirit. There will be ASL interpreters at this workshop. FREE, REGISTER HERE Lee Maracle speaks out as a critic of the treatment of Indigenous people by the Canadian state, and she particularly highlights the issues relating…

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CIPS Preliminaries Day 1

April 29 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

On each evening of prelim competition, 16 poets will be drawn at random to compete head-to-head on the first preliminary night of the festival. They will be paired up via random draw. The 8 winning poets from each night of prelims will move onto the semi-finals.  Live on POETV  

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CIPS Preliminaries Day 2

April 30 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The 16 semi-finalists (8 from 1st preliminary night + 8 from 2nd preliminary night) will compete in the same head-to-head fashion, with random draws determining each of the pairings. The winning 8 poets will move onto the finals. Live on POETV

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May 2021

Per and Post Show CIPS Finals

May 1 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Pre and post show with Ian Keteku and special guests on POETV  

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CIPS Finals

May 1 @ 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm

To celebrate the close of Verses Festival of Words 2021, and National Poetry Month, the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam culminates in an amazing finale that is not to be missed. Come watch the final round of CIPS, where the top 10 competing spoken word poets will go head-to-head in 5 intense matches, followed by the top 5 poets in an all-out poetry melee to determine our champion this year. Hosted by: Johnny D Trinh, with guest judges: Nisha Patel, Andre…

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