The Art of Slam, a spoken word performance art in which poets spit their pieces in the hope of getting a good score from the audience, was probably best-documented in the 1998 feature film Slam. In the movie, a young Saul Williams becomes a rapper/poet/writer in response to the harsh police-as-predators community in which he lives. This music could accurately be described as intensely verbose, though never as misunderstood as its way more popular cousin. (If there are lines to be drawn between any rap/crime issues of the day and slam poetry, it’s up to you to draw them.)
Tonight at Oasis (294 College Street) comes the first installment of Toronto Poetry Slam, a monthly event gathering the best rappers, theatre vets, literary poets, sound poets, dub poets, and others with the propensity for slamming. Poet sign up 8:30pm, with a 12 poets/performers maximum. .
Feature guest: John Akpata from Ottawa. Pictured: Toronto spoken word poet Wakefield Brewster. More details: Email [email protected]. Cover: $5.