beyond the word

The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) is returning to Victoria, October 13-18, 2014.

CFSW is Canada’s annual spoken word poetry festival and national poetry slam team competition. The festival travels from year to year, taking place in a different Canadian city every year. Victoria last hosted CFSW in 2009, at which 12 teams were in attendance, totalling 60 competing poets. Since then, the festival has grown; this year, CFSW’s flagship national poetry slam competition will host 100 poets from 20 cities across Canada, in a tournament that will culminate in the year’s two biggest nights of poetry at the Alix Goolden Hall. In addition to the slam competition, some of Canada’s best spoken word poets will host workshops and perform feature sets at the festival.

cfsw: beyond the words will showcase the artistic diversity of spoken word poetry through workshops and performances; it will also examine the material and social impact of spoken word on human communities, and explore questions of ethics and responsibility as creators and consumers of spoken word.

The festival will kick off on Thanksgiving Monday with a showcase of many of Canada’s recent poet laureates. The event will be hosted by Aysia Law and Morgan Purvis, Victoria’s 1st and 2nd Youth Poet Laureates respectively, and will also feature performances by both Morgan and Aysia.

Throughout the week, there will be daytime workshops, nightly showcases and slam poetry bouts at the Victoria Event Centre and Rifflandia HQ. The festival will culminate in the Canadian Poetry Slam semifinals and finals on Friday and Saturday nights at Alix Goolden Hall.

More information will be posted soon after our live site launches this month.

NOTE:  Teams may register at