9th Annual Verses Festival of Words

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The 9th annual Verses Festival of Words (April 25 to May 4, 2019) celebrates the transformative power of words – written, spoken or sung. As Canada’s largest alternative literary festival, Verses is one of the most diverse and exciting literary events of the season.

Verses Festival 2019

Verses Festival of Words

  • When: April 25 to May 4, 2019
  • Where: Various venues, East Vancouver (C-Lab, Café Deux Soleils, WISE Hall, Havana Theatre, Rio Theatre, Storm Crow, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, WISE Hall, York Theatre)
  • Tickets: Verses Festival Passes are available online now for $75 and include access to 30+ Verses Festival of Words spoken word events. Passes can be picked up at any festival event. Individual event tickets are available at the door.

This year’s line-up is filled with ground-breaking artists who encapsulate the vibrant future of Canadian culture. Featured events include the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam championship (“CIPS”) and Hullaballoo: BC’s Youth Spoken Word Festival.

Featured Events

Cultivate: A Showcase of 2 Spirit, Queer and Trans Artists
April 28, 2019 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm (WISE Hall)

“Cultivate: Artist Support Circles for Indigi- and other Queers” springs from Shane Sable’s attempt to disrupt art-in-isolation mythologies. The talking circles meet monthly at the Queer Art Festival’s SUM Gallery to connect, collaborate, and offer support to queer artists across disciplines. This showcase spotlights Cultivate artists Shane Sable, Tawahum, Raven John & Laura Fukumoto.

Sounds Like Fire: Vivek Shraya’s Death Threat Book Launch
April 28, 2019 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Artists: Vivek Shraya, Christie Lee Charles, Tawahum & Youth All Stars A showcase of resistance, resilience and empowerment – and the Vancouver launch of Vivek Shraya and Ness Lee’s new book! Death Threat perfectly expresses the feeling of being exposed to the hurtful and threatening presumptions of strangers, transforming a hideous and constrictive mindset into beauty and love. Features performances from Vancouver Poet Laureate Christie Lee Charles and local favorite Tawahum, as well as highlighting the emerging power of local youth artists.

Van Slam and Youth Slam Showcase
April 29, 2019 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm (WISE Hall)

A display of some of the best local veteran and emerging slam poets! Members of the newly minted 2019 Vancouver Poetry Slam and Youth Slam teams showcase the work that pushed them to the top.

Word Circus
April 30, 2019 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm (WISE Hall)

A whirlwind of words occurs as Emily Crocker, Brandon Wint, Chelsea D.E. Johnson & a mystery guest perform acrobatic feats of wordsmithery and music. A round robin format allows the artists to respond to one another in a spontaneous way. See artists performing in a relaxed, informal, yet electric atmosphere where anything can happen.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship Round 1
May 1, 2019 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm (Cafe Deux Soleils)
Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship Round 2
May 3, 2019 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm (Havana Theatre)
Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship FINALS
May 4, 2019 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm (York Theatre)

Canada’s best slam poets show us their strongest 4- and 1-minute poems in a competition destined to crown 2019’s national slam champion.

Talk the Talk: Decolonizing the Arts
May 2, 2019 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (Havana Theatre)

Guided by two qualified facilitators, this community dialogue asks artists, organizers and audiences to participate in anti-oppression dialogue around the topic of “Decolonizing the Arts.” Come prepared with questions, thoughts and a respectful voice.

Follow #VSfestival19 on Facebook and Twitter for more info.

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