Friday night at the Universe City Pub on Besserer. That was the most people I've seen at a literary event since the Armitage/Babstock reading. Spoken wordsters are the friendliest group in Ottawa's literary scene. The four who are going to Vancouver for this year's Spoken Word Limpics are Steve Sauve, John Akpata, DJ Morales and Kevin Mathews. The alternative will be Oni The Haitian Sensation. Other competitors included Free Will, Devon and Ritalin (Greg Frankson, the organizer). Akpata won the local championship. Such an energetic evening! Performances ranged from heavy issue topics to light comedy with some well-crafted poetry in between by Kevin Mathews.
These people are all skilled performers. The event was fast and well-structured with two rounds, judges and the light-hearted banter of CBC radio host, Alan Neal. Nobody was snoozing at this event. I think the current spoken word scene is the heartbeat of the whole literary scene.
I enjoyed the evening tremendously and will be back for more. The next big event in spoken worddom is the National Capital Throwdown at the Gap of Dunloe on Wed. June 22. Need I say, check the Bywords calendar? http://www.bywords.ca