whirred: who? what? huh?
whirred: poetry for your ears
have you heard? word is whirred is on its way...


What is this all about?

Who is involved?


...is spoken word / performance poetry?

  • "Spoken word" and "performance poetry" are essentially the same thing. There are a few people who make slight distinctions between the two, but here at whirred the terms are used interchangeably.
  • There is a very stylistically diverse range of works that fall into the category of spoken word; many performers have a very hip-hop inspired delivery, some slip back and forth between conversational and melodious tones, others still have no overt musicality to their performances at all.
  • What unites spoken word artists and differentiates their work from most conventional poetry is their focus on the audience; metaphors and symbols often give way to decidely unsubtle images and declarations.
  • The reasoning behind this should be obvious: audience members can't pause to study a line and ponder its significance in regards to the overall piece; they need to "get it" the first time around.
  • One shouldn't take from this, however, that performance poetry is devoid of allegories, metrics, or any of the other elements most commonly associated with printed poems— it would be rather silly to categorize spoken word as poetry if it ignored the most basic conventions of the genre. Rather, the performance poet adapts these existing devices to a medium that allows access to other, more dynamic tools such as sound, action, and the inherent interactivity of the stage.

...is whirred?

  • Good question. And I'm getting to it. For now let me just say that if you are a poet whose work falls into the loose category of "spoken word" as described above, perhaps you should submit to whirred. I'll expand on this and put together an actual mission statement soon.


...is involved?


sign / view


The 2004 Canadian Spoken Word Olympics will be held October 8-10 (tentative) right here in Ottawa! Slam teams as well as individual spoken word artists from across Canada and the U.S. will compete for the coveted Flaming Mike. Return to top of page

The Golden Star Lounge is an event that happens on the last Friday of every month. It includes an open mic set followed by the featured performers, and the night wraps up with an open poetry slam. If you've never been to a slam, GO. Return to top of page

Join the Writers' Deadline!! mailing list to keep up to date with information of interest to the Ottawa writing community. I've been a subscriber to this free listserv for years and it's an invaluable resource. Return to top of page

Bywords.ca should always be your first stop if you want to know what's going on in the Ottawa literary scene. Their event calendar is pretty comprehensive. Return to top of page

magOmania is an awesome resource for finding Canadian magazines. Check out how many literary journals there are in this country! And that's not even including the small distribution 'zines like... Return to top of page

Kiss Machine! What a brilliant idea! For every issue they choose two discordant themes and ask for submissions that incorporate the two. This formula has resulted in some great writing and comix over the course of it's still young run. I highly recommend it. Return to top of page

Page Half-Full Poems is local poet Pearl Pirie's website. She has a sizeable collection of her own poetry there, as well as an excellent links page. Return to top of page

I am more than happy to trade links with other poetry-related sites. Check here for contact information. Return to top of page

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