A slam and ten rooms – or is it ten rooms and a slam? Apparently there is No Vacancy. Culture in Burlington.

September 17, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  Last July the Burlington Slam Project celebrated five years of monthly poetry slams in this city.   That’s an impressive number and impressive enough to convince the Canada Council to send some coin their way.

This month, with the generous support of our favourite local pub, The Black Bull; we are able to offer the winner of our first slam of the season a $100 CASH PRIZE.   Second prize is a  generous gift certificate to the Black Bull Neighborhood Pub itself.

Poets read and the audience judges. If you like what you hear – you clap loudly. And if you think you have something to say – sign up and take the mike.

What’s a Poetry Slam?  It’s a competition judged by the audience.  They are held in cities all over the world – San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Madrid, New Zealand, Hamilton and Burlington.

It’s the kind of thing you’ve gotta be in the room to fully appreciate.  You never know who is going to say what.  Every month there is Open Mic – anyone can sign up and share anything for 5 minutes.  There is usually a feature artist to really rock the show.

Thursday evening the event will be The P.O.E. (Poetically Organized Entity); Hatched: 1981, on planet Aggression; Parents: Sarcasm, Spite; Occupation: Articulation; Special Skills: Speed, rhymes and rage.  Points of Note: Beaten, ship full of hip hop awards.  Quote: “I’m just some weirdo whose axis is off kilter, whose half assed practice has enough skill to kill ya“

Raw, straight from the heart performances – some are exceptionally good.

The Poetically Organized Entity (P.O.E.) is James Owen Brown. A slam poet from Hamilton Ontario, he has competed nationally at the Canadian Festival of Spoken word twice and been a semi-finalist. He has been a finalist at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and was the first ever winner of Last Poet Standing. In 2012 P.O.E. won the title of Grand Slam Champion of Toronto as well as the first ever Champion of Champions Cup. He has released a chapbook of poems called “More Poetiker Than Ever”. Typically P.O.E.’s style is very intense and aggressive. His hip hop background comes through in most pieces and his use of pop culture references to help clarify the abstract has made him a southern Ontario favourite.

If you’ve a taste for an appreciation of the English language – give it a try.

Thursday is a full night – but you can cover the No Vacancy in the ten rooms event at the Waterfront, runs from 6 to 9, and then scoot up Guelph Line and take in the Slam at the Black Bull

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