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The Official Burlington Slam Project Team

Yes, yes, y’all!  This past Thursday the finals went down and it was one dope night!

We had a jam packed house (in fact we had to get extra chairs 3 times!), we found out who won the new logo contest (congrats to Jogindra Siewrattan for winning the contest and the $80 prize), and thanks to Dave ‘Big Deal’ Silverberg for hosting a night of down-right fantabulous poetry!

We had 8 competitors (Tomy ‘Bam-Bam’ Bewick, Jogindra Siewrattan, The P.O.E., Dan ‘AKA Dan Murray’, Henrick ‘Shoolie’ Sales, Ryan ‘Duffman’ Duffy, Kay’la Fraser, and Oskar Niburski).  Both Tomy Bewick & Shoolie stepped down because they are both going to be on the Roots Lounge team.

We HAVE received confirmations from all team members. So your official Burlington Slam Project Team 2011-2012 is: Kay’la Fraser, Jogindra Siewrattan, The P.O.E., Oskar Niburski, and Dan Murray as the alternate.

Next slam is Thursday June 16th featuring Steve Miller from Vancouver.  Until then…

…Spread The Word!

Finals

Come on out to the Black Bull Tavern on Thursday May 19th.

For the 2nd year in a row you will help us select the Burlington Slam Project team to represent us on the regional & national stage.  Although last year’s team was Burlington’s first, they placed 4th in a field of 18 and made to the finals stage.  So this year’s team has big shoes to fill.

Curious to know who qualified?  Yogi, P.O.E., Shoolie, Kay’la Fraser, Curtis Meyer, Tasha Fortunate, Tomy Bewick, Truth Is…, Brandon Williamson, Dan Murray, Erika Haygood, Duffman, Kevin Sutton, Lip Balm, Oskar Niburski.

As usual, there will be a $5 cover charge and festivities will kick off @ 8pm with sign-up for the open mic.  Seeing as this is the finals it is a closed slam.  Our guest hosted will be, Toronto Poetry Slam’s, Dave “BIG DEAL” Silverberg.  In BSP tradition, we will forgo a feature so we can cram in more awesome local poets with a 3 round slam!  As usual, the money that would normally go toward the feature will help the team cover the cost of attending the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

Also, this month we will be revealing the winner of our Logo contest.  The winner’s submission will be the new BSP logo and will get $75 CASH!!

CFSW 2010 Ottawa – LAST CHANCE SLAM

Hey poetry afficionados,

As part of the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW 2010 Ottawa), we will be holding a Last Chance Slam (LCS) on Tuesday, October 12 at 1 p.m. Please disseminate this information in your local networks to any poet who is potentially interested in travelling to Ottawa to compete in the LCS.

We are going to have an advanced registration process for the LCS that looks like this:

On Tuesday, August 31 we will accept submissions for entrance in the LCS. To register, send an email to info@cfsw.ca with the subject line “Last Chance Slam Registrant” between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 31. Entries improperly submitted will not be accepted. A draw will then be held on September 1 for the 12 slots in the LCS, with a public announcement of the results to follow.

If you have any questions about the LCS or about the slam tournament in general, please contact CFSW 2010 Ottawa National Slammaster Rusty Priske (rustypriske at rogers dot com). 

The festival begins seven weeks from today – check out http://www.cfsw.ca/ for updates, information and more!

June Wrap-Up

So it’s a been more than a few days since it all went down.  I’m going to blame it on the G20.

First off, as predicted the talent off the hook, chain, and scales.  It was a great treat to have Elyse Maltin, London Poetry Slam,  as our guest host.  She did a killer job of trying to keep the judges from falling victim to score creep.  Or at the very least of giving us all good case of the WiLlEs from the way she described it.

In keeping with the momentum we’ve been having since February we had many new faces out, including a writers group from Brantford and a new BSP fan celebrating his birthday with us, and old faithful ones too.  After a brief hiatus where we treated to another well memorized poem by Rick Harrett, the resident BSP Open Mic anchor and HUGE fan of Robert Service.  Though she qualified for the team, Livingston returns to what she knows, loves, and does best, and that’s rock out the open mic with some hot acapella.

Now I don’t remember the exact order everyone went in for the slam proper, but I do know that it was bangin’.  Lip Balm (AKA Matt Miller) hit us with usual ferocity of words.  Though he didn’t make it to the 2nd round don’t sleep on him.  I predict you will see much more love for him on the score front in the months and years to come.

Next to be eliminated was yours truly.  Even though I didn’t make the team this was the first time I did both pieces off-page and continue to grow in my ability to perform.  Especially with my Peace & Love Affair poems which I dropped that night.

Lishai continues to inspire with the love story of herstory so far and her passion for community.  LOL Not to mention her contempt for Descarte.

Without barely even glancing at the mic Truth Is… took control of the room and our hearts with a strong delivery of a piece about trying to call her mother.  She took a chance with a new poem in the last round but still finished well.

Whether you like Hip Hop or not you can’t deny the talent that lay on the lips of Made Wade.  In his confident bravado flow he had the crowd hipnotized with an introduction to Mista Ignorance.

Our very own Tomy Bewick always comes correct and finals night was no different.  He challenges a would-be attacker to go ahead and stab him but to beware of the fight that waits for him.   Then for 3 minutes he shares the longest 2 minutes of his own life: the day his daughter was born!  Afterwards, it’s hard to find a dry eye in the room.

Yogi the always proud father has always been a natural storyteller.  He weaves rhymes and stories through the air to your ears with his words and hands working in unison.  And even though he stumbled over his words a few times, unforced passion in his words won the hearts of our judges and earned him the title of BSP’s first EVER Grand Slam Champion.

So allow me to introduce to you the 2010/2011 (1st EVER) Burlington Slam Project team:
Yogi, Tomy Bewick, Made Wade, Truth Is.., & Lishai (alt)

June 17th – FINALS !!!

Thursday June 17th

*Featuring… The BSP Team Finals*

Where: Black Bull Tavern’s Fireside Lounge (1124 Guelph Line – 905 332 4922 – blackbull.ca)
When: Thursday June 17th. Sign-up @ 8pm with Open Mic and then a closed Slam to follow

Why: After 4 months of qualifying, tonight we decide who is on the 2010/2011 (FIRST EVER!) Burlington Slam Project team. The team we will be sending to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in Ottawa this October.

Cost: Tonight the $5 donation to cover the cost of the team getting to, staying in, and coming back from Ottawa.

We’ll have a special guest host – the incredible and inspirational ELYSE MALTIN of the London Poetry Slam crew and May’s feature the Real Pile

And as always we’ll have an Open Mic for any and all types of performance; bring your guitar, your songs, your stand-up, your rants and ragtime showtunes – it’s all about getting it out there!

There will not be a feature for June, as the FINALS SLAM is the feature – a 3 round slam to pick the top 4 and an alternate. All funds will go towards the Team’s expenses for later in the year when they travel to Ottawa to compete against 17 other teams from across Canada.

Competing in the Finals will be:

Truth Is…
Kayla “Kiki” Fraser
Tomy Bewick
Made Wade
Livingston Lacroix
Yogi
Nikki Germany
Matt Miller
Braden
Lishai
Ryan “Duffman” Duffy

Please spread the word; we really want to see our regulars, see some new faces and some old friends… Let’s make it a special night to remember.

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May Wrap-Up

Hey Folks,

Sorry for the delay in posting this months wrap-up but life is crazy sometimes.

Well let’s jump right into it:  It was another banner night for the Burlington Slam Project.  I walked in at 10 to 8 and we were already 3/4 full!  There were lots of new faces as well as some old faces we hadn’t seen in a while (Great to see you again Michelle!).  Surprisingly, our resident Robert Service enthusiast, Rick Harret, wasn’t there to fulfill his honour as the first person to the open mic.  So instead Tomy shared a new piece.  We were all wowed by Dan who gave an outstanding performance of an “Ode to my voice”.

The slam was full of BSP regulars, as well as some visitors.  Jillian Christmas once again entralled us with her smooth and sultry voice weaving tales of love.  Kiki gave us a new piece from the prospective of a protective mother wanting nothing more than to keep her child safe.  Badass (AKA Beth Anne Fischer from the Guelph Spoken Word troup) made her first appearance at Burlington a memorable one.  So did Brendan with a piece about sexual ambiguity.

The Real Pile was the real deal.  They blended folk music with poetry.  And while each woman on the team had their own style and flavour, they were still very much a team.  There were only 2 or 3 awkward pauses.  But that’s just because this was their first time performing together as an ensemble.

In the end, Truth Is… took home the cash winnings and almost fell for the trappings of using a microphone (oh no!).  All the slammers did a great job despite MANY large time penalties.   Damn that rat bastard time keeper for spoiling all our fun.  But alas, it was worth it!

Don’t forget that next month is finals night where we select the Burlington Slam Project Team we will be sending to CFSW in Ottawa in October.

Don’t Be A Fool – Crave Poetry!

Thursday April 15th

*Featuring C.R. Avery*

Where: Black Bull Tavern’s Fireside Lounge (1124 Guelph Line – 905 332 4922 – blackbull.ca)
When: Thursday Apr. 15th.  Sign-up @ 8pm with Open Mic and then Poetry Slam to follow

Why: Aside from winning a cash prize, February through May are the months to qualify for the team we will be sending to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in Ottawa this October.

Cost: We ask for a $5 donation to cover the cost of our feature performer and the prize money.

Beatbox poet, harmonica madman, C.R. Avery has lived in Vancouver. He is a unique performer, simultaneously singing, beatboxing, playing harmonica and playing guitar. He performs solo or with his band and has played onstage with Tom Waits, Ani DiFranco, The Be Good Tanyas, and Utah Phillips, among others. A top performer in the slam poetry scene, C.R. is in the poetry super group known as “Tons Of Fun University” (TOFU) with the Mighty Mike McGee and the incomparable Shane Koyczan (The guy who did the opening at the 2010 Winter Olympics).

You can keep up-to-date on C.R. Avery on his website, or keep track of him on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.  You can preview his talent on Youtube or buy tracks on iTunes.

Feb. 25th – How It Went Down

Well last night was truly madness. Early indications suggested that we could possibly have a good sized crowd. But the last minute snow storm that rolled in put a cloud of doubt over numbers. Then on the way to the slam I waited for some friends at the wrong spot to give them a ride to the slam. Next time I’ll give you door-to-door service. How does that sound?

So when I finally arrived I was greeted by the sight of some faithful BSP attendees. It was also nice to see that some of the people who made it out to last months slam (taped by TV Cogeco & featured by Brendan McLeod). It seemed every time I turned around chairs and tables were being moved around to accommodate more people. And even though they were running a little bit late, a whole crew of poets from Buffalo arrived with Ntare.

Needless to say the night was jam packed with poets! 14 people signed up for the Slam! As with BSP tradition Rick kicked off the Open Mic in grand fashion and is sure to make a Robert Service fan of even the strongest doubter. Rolling Zen also showed up to share a new piece written in response to his visit to a WWII concentration camp.

Some memorable pieces from the 1st round were Nikki sharing her desire to be “That B*tch” you can’t get off your mind, Made Wade the superhero warned us of his arch nemesis “Ignorance” and how he planned to school him, and who couldn’t forget our sacrifical poet, Ms. Christmas, and her poem about how a special poet makes her feel.

Right after the first round, The Recipe served up a fresh course of poetry and showed exactly why they are the 2009 national champions. Ian shared his love for his laptops “backspace” even though she has some “viruses”. With the Canadian olympic hockey being displayed on the TV The Recipe explained how “The Good Ole Hockey Game” is really black. For me, their most amazing piece went form A to Z and back again.

After the break everyone came back ready to see who reigned supreme. Since we had so many poets sign up and a 3-way tie for 6th, only the top 5 poets went into the final round: Ten Thousand, Nikki, Made Wade, Franchise, and Kiki (aka Killah). 10-K’s passion was apparent as his voice rose and fell in turn with the emotion of his poem ebbing & flowing. IMHO, Nikki really connected with an inspiring piece encouraging big women to ignore the pressure to be the “ideal woman”. Made Wade continued to school us on stereotypes with his signature smooth flow. The Franchise gave us his version of “the love poem”. Kiki finished the night off with a very personal piece.

It was tight night, with Kiki going into the 2nd round leading Made Wade by .1. I got an eerie feeling when 2nd round Made Wade got 9.5’s across the board. Kiki finished her 2nd round with a 9.4, 9.6 and three 9.5’s. So in the end Kiki won with a 57.1 beating Made Wade by just .1 and Nikki coming in 3rd.

Since this was the first night of qualifying for the finals, that means 1st, 2nd, & 3rd get points to help them place better in the finals to make the 2010 BSP Slam Team.

***Major Announcement ***

So it has been confirmed; BSP is part of SpoCan and WILL be sending a team to the CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF SPOKEN WORD in Ottawa, in late 2010.

The slam-off for the team will begin at February’s slam, when we feature the national slam champs of 2009 – the Ottawa Slam Team.

Points will be accumulated for the top 3 scores of the night for 4 months, with a Finals slam in June.

Points will be awarded as follows:

  • 1st place – 5 points
  • 2nd place – 3 points
  • 3rd place – 1 point

Points will then determine who participates in the Finals and there will be an advantage given based on point gradation. (IE: 0-5 points will be -2 to start finals, 5-10 will be -1 to start finals and so on…. ***this is an example and exact deductions and gradation will be based on how many competitors and range of point spread are actually involved come May).

The team will be determined based on cumulative scores at the night of Finals, with a 4 member team and one alternate being appointed.

Typical PSI slam rules apply; 3mins10secs time limit (0.5 deduction for each 10 secs over), no props or costumes (2 point deduction), original work only, no musical accompaniments (2 point deduction).

There will be obligations of the Team to work together to create group performances, perform at fundraisers to pay for their trip to Ottawa and generally put their best foot forward to represent as well as possible, while having fun and maintaining respect for others.

If you think you’re up for competing on a National stage in the nations capital and meeting some incredible people/ artists from across the country; then this might just be the opportunity for you.