Community Forum

London Poetry Slam will be hosting its first Community Forum!

Meeting will be held Friday August 21st 4-6pm in Victoria Park (meet at the bandshell).

We want to hear your feedback, ideas, and questions about our monthly slams, other spoken word community events, and your own poetic journey/what you need to grow as a writer & performer. EVERYONE is welcome, whether you’ve just discovered us or have been hitting the stage for ages. Come get involved & provide your input to help make London’s spoken word scene the best it can be!

If you cannot make it to the meeting, but still wish to submit a question or topic for discussion and receive a response, please email [email protected] with the subject Community Forum.

Reflecting on Indies – Jayme A.

The following is a reflection by Jayme A., who travelled to Vancouver representing London at the 2015 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (Indies) competition in April.

“What brings you to Vancouver?”

Fellow plane passengers, airport staff, taxi drivers and hotel managers across the city did not expect my answer to be poetry. Apparently flying across the country for a festival dedicated to poetry and storytelling is not common among everyday blue collars; though even less common was the likelihood of finding Vancouverites that knew about the festival and were not sporting manbuns. This wasn’t for a lack of interest in the arts, however. It was more like a desensitization.

Alongside all the artists who have stormed the city in flocks of dyed hair and ukuleles, I felt at home immediately- and my mind was already blown by the time I first sat down in orientation. I was only an unconsensual hug away from some of my biggest idols. Unfortunately, this sparked a deep anxiety in me, as I wanted so badly to gain their respect. I set my mind to doing so by placing well in the competition. I still had not completely come to understand that poetry is never about the points.

Then to my horror, I dropped both poems at my first bout in the competition. From that point I knew I would have to change my outlook in order to keep my sanity and enjoy the rest of the festival. I embraced the atmosphere instead, and the praise of fellow poets who had all been in my exact same place before. I became able to take my head out of the competition and plant myself firmly into the community.

As soon as I made the first step, I felt like I had found home in the voices of people from all across the country. It was comforting to know that we were all here for the same reason. Meeting one another felt like a reunion of old friends and saying goodbye seemed like a see-you-soon. I came to Vancouver for a competition, but in the end I was there for the poets and what they had to say.

Typically as my stubborn self, I have silently boiled around those who come to competitions with the “I’m just here to have fun” mentality. However, I understand now. Once I realized I did not need to prove myself in order to feel like I belonged, I knew that this is how it felt to be good enough. No amount of points was going to affect how I was seen here.

For the first time, I felt confidence in calling myself a poet. While listening to the beautifully crafted words of the others, I knew this title was something to be proud of. I knew being an artist meant a dedication to impacting others. I have seen art change lives and I couldn’t imagine anything I would rather be than an artist.

“So, what brings you to Vancouver?”

Poetry brought me, and I’m ready to follow it anywhere.

– Jayme

Contest Results w/ Prevail Music

From Prevail Music:

“With all of the outstanding submissions we received we couldn’t just pick one of you wonderful spoken word artists..

So congratulations to winners Megan Morris & Jayme Archibald!

The two of you have both won a professional recording of your poem at Prevail Music as well as a live video-shoot with ‪NYONVideo‬ Productions of you performing your ‪poem‬ at a ‪‎London‬ ‎Poetry‬ ‪Slam‬ event.

Thank you again everyone for your submissions and for showing the love!”

We thank Prevail for also offering all of the entrants the chance to do an audio recording of their poem!

Congrats to the 2015 Team!

Our 2015 London Poetry Slam team travelling to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon in October AND YouthCanSlam Festival in Ottawa in August is: Grand Slam Champ Emma Blue, Samra, Jayme, Emma F., and Eric!

Big thank yous go to:
– the Founder of LPS who started it all & Finals host Elyse Maltin
– our beautiful venue the Palace Theatre
– awesome DJ mediafrenzy
– tech guru Travis Dolynny
– videographer Brad Golding
– photographer Jenny Jay
– our kind & delicious food donor Edgar and Joe’s Café
– volunteers Ted, Meag, Ben, Andrew, Ubong, and scorekeepers Leanne & Brittany
– our funders London Arts Council & Canada Council for the Arts
– our (wonderfully consistent!) judges and our awesome audience
– all competing poets incl Inali, Sara, Adam, Zheng

Contest Announcement!

London Poetry Slam has teamed up with Prevail Music to bring you a spoken word poetry contest leading up to our April Finals event!


Submit an original spoken word poem (no more than 3 mins long) by April 15th, 2015 for your chance to win either a professional audio recording of your poem in Prevail Studios or a video recording of you performing your poem at a slam event with Nyon Video Productions.

Submit a link to a video of yourself performing your poem via the Prevail Contests page on Facebook (click the contest image to send), or email to [email protected]

The winner will be announced at our London Poetry Slam Finals event Friday April 17th at the Palace Theatre.

Please send any questions to [email protected] or connect with us or Prevail via social media

LPS + Austen Berlet Campout, March 28th

For the first time, London Poetry Slam is proud to partner with the Austen Berlet Campout for Mental Health on Saturday March 28th, 2015 in Victoria Park. We welcome poets to join our set from 5-6pm (please email [email protected] or contact us via social media if you wish to share a poem).

More about ABCampout:

“One in five Canadians are affected by mental illness, and that number jumps to 1 in 3 for Canadian students, and it #CouldBeMe. In 2009, it was Austen Berlet; an intelligent, devoted, and loving brother of Phi Gamma Delta with a bright future, who took his own life as a result of his bipolar disorder. We hold this event in his memory, and to generate awareness about mental illness for the Western and London communities, and raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Austen was a bright, beautiful person. He could never sit still, and he almost never stopped talking; he was the definition of lively. The only thing that surpassed his unbelievable skateboarding skills was perhaps his intellect. He used his passion for theoretical physics to attend a summer program at Perimeter Institute during the summer after grade 12, and even publish a paper entitled “The Formulation of Einstein Field Equation Through Curved Newtonian Space-Time” through the University of Texas while he was still in high school. We are all a little like Austen, and Austen was a lot like the rest of us.

ABCampout happens on March 28th, starting at 12pm, at Victoria Park, London. It’s a 24-hour event; we will be there all night, so bring your tents and help us keep warm, but you may also come and go as you please. Enjoy a day (and night) of fantastic local speakers/performers, great food, and amazing conversation with Western students and London residents alike. There’s also a Mental Health Walk around Victoria park during the event, a silent auction with some incredible items by our wonderful sponsors, and open fields for sporting events.

Last year, we were able to raise over $17,000 for the CMHA, and this year, our hopes are even higher. See you there!”

Our first ever Indies Qualifier Slam winner is…

… Jayme A.!

On Friday February 20th, London Poetry Slam held it’s first ever Indies Qualifier Slam. The Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS / Indies) is an annual national competition in Vancouver in April for 40 of the top slammers from across the country. Each year London names a rep who heads to BC and competes… but this is the first time we have held a slam-off to decide who that person would be!

Our inaugural Indies slam saw 10 top poets from our 2014-2015 slam season perform, including Ceilidhe, Jenny Jay, Sara, BoGus, Adam S, Emma F, Eric, Jayme A, UB & Tiffany T.. Poets performed in a 1 min round, a 2 min round, and a 3 min round, mirroring the format of Indies prelims (where poets perform in 1, 2, 3, & 4 min rounds).

Jayme came out on top after all three rounds were said and done, and we’re happy to see her competing for the first time at a national festival. Best of luck Jayme, we’ll be showing the love from London!

To learn more about CIPS, or read up on how you can register as a storm poet if you want to join Jayme in BC and compete in the festival this year, click here.

2014-2015 Slam Season Stats So Far…

We like stats! Here’s some for you:
1. In 6 slams so far this season we’ve had 42 slammers
2. Exactly 50% of our slammers so far are youth (under 21)
3. We’ve had 5 different winners in those 6 slams
4. There are only 3 more slams for you to qualify for April Finals! (Feb is our qualifier for Indies & won’t count towards season standings)

Safe Space

Given all that has been in the media and slam scene conversation circles lately, we want to reiterate that we work to make the London Poetry Slam a safe space for all.

We will not tolerate any speech/action that is hateful, aggressive, or predatory, and if anyone ever feels their comfort or safety is being compromised at our events, whether by poets, audience members, or organizers, please contact Director Holly Painter to discuss further (through our contact form, or other means).

We are working on additional measures to better communicate our commitment to safe space. If you have any thoughts on how we can better do this, please feel free to share your ideas with us.

#SpeakYourTruth #ShowtheLove

CFSW Reflections

Reflections from the five poets who travelled to the 2014 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW):

Emma Blue (1st festival):
“I’m not exaggerating when I say CFSW was a life-changing experience. If you want to see the real ability of spoken word to empower, educate, and enlighten, you have to try to go.”

Ceilidhe Miller (1st festival):
“Spending a week with so many poets allowed me to make new friendships and to strengthen existing ones. CFSW has helped in shaping me as a poet and has rekindled my love for poetry. I am walking away from it with lots of new ideas and a better grasp of what kind of poet I want to be.”

Rachel Rensby (2nd festival):
“CFSW this year for me was eye opening, it was finding my place in a community I felt like I was looking in through a window on last year, but mostly it gave me an idea of the poet that I want to be. If there is one take home message I took away from CFSW, it is that our talents are a gift, our words have power to educate and advocate for change in this world.”

Ted Olczak (3rd festival):
“After attending my third Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, I can’t help but be blown away by what this community has to offer. While the on stage performances are as on point as they always have been, it’s the off stage community that inspires me more than anything. It just makes you want to be better, both as a poet and as a person.”

Holly Painter (3rd festival):
“Nationals is an incredible opportunity to connect with people from across the country that share a love not only for expression through poetry, but for contributing to the world passionately and positively. CFSW is more than just poems; it’s emotional, thought-provoking, educational, and inspiring on a whole new level than what is experienced at individual community slams. I am never more proud to be part of the Canadian spoken word scene than I am during the festival.”