2014: Oracular Spectacular!
A week-long celebration of the poetic life. A gathering of languages, voices, stories, and song. The 11th annual Calgary Spoken Word Festival took place in Calgary April 01-06—with 20 events / Workshops / DEB Talks / Electronic Experimentation / Live Streaming/ Blog and & Social Media / Panels / Launches / Collaborations & Tributes / Francophone voices / Insta- Translations / Golden Beret Award Word Travels /Slams / Open Mics.
In 2012 - The 9th annual Calgary Spoken Word Festival Presented 70 artists in 2 cities with 18 events. In 2012, the Spoken Word Program at The Banff Centre, continued into its 6th year—a pivotal year. It was the last year that the creator of the program Sheri-D Wilson would be Director. The program gave 14 participants the opportunity to spend 2 weeks at The Banff Centre, cultivating their craft under the instruction of renowned faculty members and workshop leaders. Sheri-D Wilson returned as the program director. We launched The Spoken Word Workbook: inspiration from poets who teach. Through one-on-one prompts, 27 well-known poets appear as pop-ups to give their lessons electronically. The lessons include every aspect of Spoken Word: History, Composition, and Performance in styles like Dub, Hip Hop, Jazz, Storytelling, and Slam.
Themed "The Ultimate Cabaret," the 2010 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival was the largest to date, presenting 27 events in 4 cities, featuring over 100 artists. Along with feature performances, there were panels, discussions, workshops, special events including "Banff to the World - Live to the Web" - broadcasting the creation of VideoPoems LIVE across North America.
In 2010, the Spoken Word Program at The Banff Centre, continued into its 4rd year. The program gave 15 participants the opportunity to spend 2 weeks at The Banff Centre, cultivating their craft under the instruction of renowned faculty members and workshop leaders. Sheri-D Wilson returned as the program director; its faculty members were: Regie Cabico, Bob Holman and Sheri-D Wilson; and its workshop leaders were: Louise Bernice Halfe, evalyn parry and Steven Ross Smith.
The 2008 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival saw the number of events rise to 11, featuring 43 artists. Along with special featured panel discussion on "What the heck is Spoken Word?", there was an exclusive Billeh Nickerson blog, where Billeh took the general public with his no-holds-barred trip through the ins-and-outs of the 2008 Festival.
In 2008 the Spoken Word Program at The Banff Centre, which is linked to the Festival, became the 2nd Spoken Word Program in Canada. This program gives 16 participants the opportunity to spend 2 weeks at The Banff Centre, cultivating their craft under the instruction of renowned faculty members. Sheri-D Wilson is the program director and its inaugurated faculty members were Ian Ferrier, Bob Holman, D. Kimm and Sheri-D Wilson.
In November 2008, in conjunction with SPOCAN, we held the 2008 National Slam & Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. This Festival featured 55 of Canada's top Slam poets plus featured guests from across the country. Teams competed were: Calgary, Halifax, Lanark County, Montreal, Ottawa, Southern Ontario Team, Toronto Poetry Slam, Up from the Roots Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg.
In 2006, the Calgary Spoken Word Society exploded with activity! The 2006 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival was the biggest yet, with 8 fabulous events and a wild variety of readers.
In February 2006, the Calgary Spoken Word Society launched the monthly Calgary Poetry Slam, giving up-and-coming poets the opportunity to perform their art. This led to the creation of the 1st Calgary Slam Team, which traveled to Toronto in October 2006 to compete in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
In November 2006, we held th spektacular tribute 2 the brilliant bill bissett dansing in a hurricane uv stars, an extravagant multi-media tribute to the hugely influential Canadian artist, bill bissett! There were 2 events, featuring bill bissett, Christian Bök, Seth-Adrian Harris, Adeena Karasick, Steve McCaffery, Susan Musgrave, Jamie Reid, Linda Rogers and Sheri-D Wilson, performing tribute poems to bissett and excerpts of their own work. There was also a guerilla postering campaign, in which bissett's famous poem, "inkorrect thots", was plastered in inkorrect places across Calgary and internationally, and a special bill bissett blog where bissett was able to share his thoughts and dialogue with the general public.
Held in 2004, the 1st annual Calgary International Spoken Word Festival was a rousing success, consisting of 4 events and artists from across Canada: J Alary, Lillian Allen, Christopher Blais, Jason Christie, George Elliott Clarke, Ivan E. Coyote, T. Crane, Lorna Crozier, Myra Davies, Carmen Derksen, Diane di Prima, Emily Elder, ryan fitzpatrick, Jill Hartman, Paul Kennett, Kirk Miles, Dwayne Morgan, Ali Riley, Andre Rodrigues, Jem Rolls, Gregory Scofield, Natalie Simpson, Bob Stallworthy and Sheri-D Wilson.
The Calgary Spoken Word Society was created in November 2003 by poet Sheri-D Wilson, and received its charitable tax status in 2006. Influenced by its founder's passion, the Society's vision is to develop a forum for the dissemination and promotion of Spoken Word Poetry locally, provincially, nationally and internationally, through performance and education.