whirred: where to buy and where to bide your time
whirred: poetry for your ears
have you heard? word is whirred is on its way...


Purchase Info

Spoken Word Events


Issue number one is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2004. Watch the News section for announcements regarding sales venues and the official launch.


So, what are some of the cool places to go see poets such as the whirred artists do their thing? In my personal opinion, these are the best events to attend for those who want to watch and/or perform poetry.

Spoken Words Broken Brushes
Where: Mercury Lounge (56 Byward St.)
When: First Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m.
Who: Hosted by Steve Sauvé
What: Open mic poetry; featured performers; live visual art
Why: Now that SWBB is my event, I may have to change this section. Calling something "the best poetry-related event ever" sounds rather conceited when coming from the guy who's running the show. I will change it sometime after I've hosted my first show (which will be on Jan. 4th). Until then, here is my review as it was written when Drew the Drunken Dragon was still running things:

Why go? Let me tell you right off the bat, this is the best poetry-related event ever. Period. Seriously. The Mercury Lounge has an amazing atmosphere. I mean, come on: Performance poetry at a jazz club?! That's old school, my friend. That's the way it's meant to be. Many of the most talented poets in Ottawa read here regularly, and having Julien Garner and his guest artist create a piece of art downstage throughout the course of the night is nothing short of brilliant. SWBB is so cool it's almost surreal. See you there. Return to top of page

Golden Star Lounge
Where: Location varies (see website)
When: Last Friday of the month at 8:30 p.m.
Who: Hosted by the nth digri and Moses
What: Open mic poetry; featured performers; open slam
Why: For those of you who didn't know, slam poetry has returned to Ottawa! It took a while before I finally got the chance to catch an installment of this poetry series, but let me tell you I am never going to miss it again! The atmosphere is great, the performers are great, the audience is great... I cannot recommend this event enough. The featured performances regularly include well-known poets from all over North America. The Golden Star Lounge sent a team to compete in the U.S.-based National Poetry Slam in 2003 and plans to do so again in 2004. Organizer Anthony Bansfield (a.k.a. the nth digri), as well as regular performer Oni the Haitian Sensation, are also involved in the 2004 Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, the first Canadian national slam competition. Return to top of page

Café Nostalgica Poetry Open Stage
Where: Café Nostalgica (603 Cumberland St.; University of Ottawa campus)
When: Every Thursday starting at 8:30 p.m.
Who: Hosted by Kristy McKay
What: Open mic poetry followed by music open stage
Why: It's the only literary event I know of that occurs every week. It's not a big venue but it tends to fill up fast. Lately it's been a packed house every time. The poetry open stage usually provides a good mix of spoken word and "traditional" poetry. This is all followed immediately by a music open stage hosted by Trevor Tchir, which is always worth staying for. There are some brilliant musicians that frequent Café Nostalgica, many of whom you may be completely unaware of. Come see 'em now while it's free and years from now you'll be able to tell your friends that their folk hero once tripped over your coat on his way to the stage.

In December 2003, Café Nostalgica released a CD of poems and songs from regular performers entitled Thursday Heroes: Live at Café Nostalgica. It is available at the venue for $15. Return to top of page

Remember to also check the Bywords.ca events calendar regularly to keep up to date on the wide variety of other literary events that are going on all over the nation's capitol.


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

This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 4, Netscape 4, Opera 7 or higher at a resolution of 1024x768 with Javascript enabled. This site is also best viewed at a distance through dense fog whilst under the influence of no less than three psychotropic substances. All literary and artistic content on this site is the property of the indicated individuals and is used with their express permission. All other content copyright © 2003 Stephen Sauvé unless otherwise indicated.