Spoken word scene growing in city

Slamming Some Rhymes:Shafraz Ladak wins the slam in Wine-Ohs bar and in Calgary on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ladak turned to poetry in hopes to straighten himself out after spending some time in prison in 2014 and has successfully made a difference since he started writing poetry. (Photo by Sareenah Singh/The Press)
Slamming Some Rhymes: Shafraz Ladak wins the slam in Wine-Ohs bar and in Calgary on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Ladak turned to poetry in hopes of straightening himself out after spending some time in prison in 2014 and he believes the change has helped him. (Photo by Sareenah Singh/The Press)

Run by local poets, the Ink Spot Poetry Collective has big plans for the city’s slam scene, including establishing Calgary as a serious contender at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW)

Ink Spot is held at Wine-Ohs Bistro on the last Monday of every month with people signing up for open mic, or slam poetry. Admission is $5 at the bistro, at 811 1st St. S.W. downtown.

Open mic is a non-competitive event in which audience members can read their poetry, while slam is a competition in which people read their poems and are evaluated by a panel of randomly selected judges.

“I really like the sense of community here,” said Shafraz Ladak, a Calgary poet who has been writing and slamming for two years. Ladak was the winner of November’s slam.

“There are poets who perform from different skill levels and different points of where they’re writing is at but all are welcome to step on stage and be a little vulnerable.” said Ladak.

“People here are accepting and willing to help other people, they’re very inclusive and loving no matter where you are in your journey.”

One of the founding members of the Ink Spot Collective and captain of the Calgary slam team in 2010 is Tyler Perry.

“It’s a great way to just let lose a lot of pent-up anger or sadness, or even share your happiness and not be worried at being looked at differently,” said Perry. “It’s almost therapeutic.”

Perry is now one of the organizers of ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ Calgary’s monthly all-ages and youth poetry slam, and Alberta’s provincial school poetry slam competition which will take place in April, 2017.

This month’s feature poet was Vanessa McGowan, a competing national slam poet from 2011 to 2015. Mcgowan is a proud co-founder of WordSpell, a female spoken word series in Toronto.

“Slam is not the typical berets and slow snapping fingers,” said Mcgowan.

“It get’s competitive when people knock each other out with their words and rhymes and the raw emotion that comes with it trying to get that perfect 10 score.”

 

Spoken Word Slammer:Tyler Perry reading a poem from his book during the Spoken Word event held at the Wine-Ohs bar in Calgary on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Perry was one of the founding members of the Ink Spot Collective and captain of the slam team on 2010 (Photo by Sareenah Singh/The Press)
Spoken Word Slammer: Tyler Perry reciting a poem during the Ink Spot Collective spoken word event at the Wine-Ohs Bistro in Calgary on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Perry was one of the founding members of the Ink Spot Collective and captain of the slam team in 2010. (Photo by Sareenah Singh/The Press)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Maria Sareenah Singh 2 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Maria Sareenah Singh is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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