Poetry Slam grand finale Thursday at Art Gallery of Hamilton

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Published January 17, 2024 at 6:44 pm

2022 Canadian Poetry Slam champion Eddie Lartey of Hamilton

The Art Gallery of Hamilton is calling all poetry enthusiasts, wordsmiths, and fans of spoken word to the grand finale of the Breaking Through the Vault poetry slam Thursday, with the winner to represent Hamilton at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship this April in Vancouver.

Artists from across the city have waged lyrical warfare in hopes of being the champion to rep Hamilton at the nationals, with the possibility of going to the Worlds in Togo in west Africa.

Eddie Lartey of Hamilton beat out 22 other spoken word poets to win the 2022 Canadian championships at the Vancouver Poetry House with a passionate piece on the effects of gentrification of James Street. “Where do all the ghosts go,” he asked, “when they have no place left to haunt?”

Lartey, who is involved in the Breaking Through the Vault monthly poetry club, told the CBC after his win in 2022 that Hamilton is “chock-full” of local poets who have potential and talent but little opportunity.

“The artistry here is amazing. The poets here are truly unique and they definitely have their own style. I think we have an incredible wealth of talent in the community.”

Organizers of the poetry slam are promising an “epic conclusion” to the “incredible work that’s erupted” throughout the art community. “We are excited to crown our new champion and journey with them,” the AGH said, calling the grand finale a “celebration of the stories that bind us all.”

The poetry slam will happen from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The open mic begins at 6:30 p.m. with the grand finale starting at 7 sharp.

Tickets for the event are $10, with special $5 rates for students and $8 for AGH members.

Those who want to have a go at a poetry slam must email [email protected] in advance.

SLAM RULES: Team pieces are welcome, but no props or costumes and no racist, sexist, homophobic, or anti-group language is allowed. Original work only and memorization is optional.

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