2015 Verses Festival Celebrates the Art of the Spoken Word

2015 verses festival of words

Image courtesy of Evil Patrick Shannon | Flickr.com

This festival, what a spectacle! You’ll enjoy it from your vestibule… Okay, rhyming is pretty hard, but the people who do it well, can do it really well. Vancouver’s Verses Festival of Words is a celebration of those who can put words and sentences together to create amazing works of performance art.

The 2015 Verses Festival takes place from April 23rd until May 3rd at various venues clustered around East Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, with a mission to inspire and introduce works that include page-based poetry, spoken word, oral storytelling, and singer-songwriters.

2015 Verses Festival Vancouver

Image courtesy of Evil Patrick Shannon | Flickr.com

This is the fifth year that the Verses Festival of Words celebrates the transformative power of words, whether written, spoken or sung. If you’ve never had an opportunity to experience a poetry slam, or really take some time to admire the written word — this is the festival for you.

There are over 30 unique and exciting events happening during the festival that are catered to all ages and interest levels, including:

The All-Star Slam: This event pits three former poetry slam champions head to head in an all-out battle of poetic verve and wit. Each poet performs one poem each in three rounds, all of which are judged by the audience. April 24th, noon at The Rio Theatre (full details).

Verses Festival Vancouver 2015

Image courtesy of Evil Patrick Shannon | Flickr.com

Hullabaloo Team Bouts: Every team in Hullabaloo (youth poetry contest) will perform in one bout this night. The poems and performances will be judged by five random members of the audience. This event is open to the general public. April 24th, 6:30pm at the Vancouver Public Library (full details).

Poetry Masterclass with Amber Dawn: Through a series of writing prompts and peer-to-peer reflection, workshop participants will explore the potent pairing of poetry + social justice values and personal identities. April 26th at 12:30pm at The Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive. $40 in advance, $50 at the door (full details).

Jangle & Shout: The Hulla-Verses Remixer: A literary soirée with a wild side! Get a sneak peek sampling of the music and words of many of the artists yet to come in the festival, with the best of Hullabaloo thrown into the mix. Feast your ears on an all-you-can-handle buffet of words at the York Theatre, a venue new for this year’s Verses. April 26th at 7:30pm at The York Theatre on Commercial Drive (full details).

Tomboy Survival Guide – Part anthem, part campfire story, and part instructions for the dismantling of the gender stories we tell ourselves and each other. Writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote and an all-tomboy band invite the audience to join them as they navigate the narrow halls of public washrooms, skirt the treachery of growing up under the threat of being picked to be a flower girl at their aunt’s wedding, triumph over tying a double Windsor knot, and discover the beauty in realizing they were handsome, not pretty, all along. April 29th at 8:00pm at The Rio Theatre, $20 in advance and $25 at the door. (full details).

verses poetry slam 2015

Image courtesy of Evil Patrick Shannon | Flickr.com

Spoken Nerd – Calling all poets of the nerd-like persuasion. This is your night to explain to the world your love of isotopes or Harry Potter or Star Trek or Dr. Who or Werewolves/Vampires/Ducks or Suduko or Quantum Physics or Comic Books or Grammar or anything you feel nerdy and obsessive about. May 1st, 2pm at Storm Crow Tavern. Free! (full details).

A full listing of all the events for the 2015 Verses Festival of Words can be found on their website.

The Verses Festival runs from April 23rd until May 3rd and is a great opportunity to check out an art form that is not as common as other performance works. To celebrate the arrival of this festival, I present to you a haiku:

Verses Festival
of Words, sounds exciting but

Can you do any better? Write a haiku about the Verses Festival of Words in the comment section below!

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