Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 13:12 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 15:10

The eighth annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word will take place in Toronto, Ontario from October 11 to 15, 2011 under the leadership of CFSW 2011 Toronto festival director David Silverberg of the Toronto Poetry Project.

The top poetry slam teams from across Canada converge for one week of non-stop poetic competitions and workshops! Invited poets include d’bi young, Robert Priest, RC Weslowski, Brendan McLeod, Evalyn Parry
Toronto Poetry Project and Spoken Word Canada (SPOCAN) are proud to present the 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) taking place Oct 11 to 15 in various venues in downtown Toronto. This annual festival features the top talent in the national spoken word community.
Poets from Victoria to Halifax will take part in the country's largest spoken word festival. In the evening, 20 poetry slam teams will compete in spoken word competitions known as poetry slams. Daytime events will include workshops and showcases ideal for anyone interested in literary arts.
“Spoken word is one of the most popular literary art forms in the world, for a reason,” notes David Silverberg, artistic director of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and producer of Toronto Poetry Slam. “This kind of poetry is visceral and hits you right in the heart. Toronto is very lucky to host the CFSW this year, because for a full week talented poets from coast to coast will give us their best work.”
The week kicks off in style with The Legends Showcase at the Drake Hotel Underground in honour of pioneers of spoken word who helped transform the art form. The Oct 11 opening showcase will feature performances by dub poet Lillian Allen, spoken word educator Andrea Thompson, the "Mama of Dada" Sheri-D Wilson, beatboxer/poet Eddy Da Original One and Vancouver slam legend RC Weslowski.
On Wednesday evening and beyond, the competition begins with bouts at downtown Toronto performance venues Trane Studio and 918 Bathurst, and will progress to a semi-finals competition at the Royal Cinema. The Finals on Oct. 15 will take place at Metropolitan United Church and will include special performances by Poets of Honour Robert Priest and d’bi young.

Late night events include HipHop Karaoke, a Haiku Head-to-Head Battle, a Poetic Music Showcase and a massive after-party on Oct. 15. There will also be a Friday afternoon guerrilla poetry event on the streets of downtown Toronto, at an intersection TBD.
More than 4,000 people are expected to take in the CFSW festivities throughout the week, making this festival one of the most exciting spoken word events in the country.
The full schedule of daytime and late-night event will be available shortly. For more information on the 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, call 416-312-3865. Interviews and photography can be arranged upon request. Ticket information is available by emailing