Basement Poetry @ Labyrinth Lounge, 11/21/09

hyperadmin | A City In Focus | Thursday, November 26th, 2009

There was a time about a decade ago when spoken word and Slam poetry – on the backs of cross-over wordsmiths like Saul Williams and Ursula Rucker – could actually be found crawling out of it’s dark crevices and into the shining light of the then burgeoning urban underground. Of course, this more abrasive wing of a long, storied, and much broader poetry movement always ran much deeper than Williams and other notable bridge artists, just as it does today, but unless you yourself are in some way connected to the scene, you’d be forgiven for assuming it had all but dried up some time ago.

Truth Is (1)

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as local artists and teams – like those connecting to the long-running Up From The Roots family, or the rotating Toronto Poetry Slam Team, continue to perform and compete regularly on both a national and international level. One such local luminary is one-time TPST member Truth Is who, along with poets Annu Saini and California resident Mumbles, held the first of what will no doubt be many Basement Poetry parties on last Saturday Nov 21 at the cozy Labyrinth Lounge. The come-as-you-are gathering was about as comfortable as an event could be, with folks invited to curl up on one of a handful of sofas in near-complete darkness as the capable word-slingers blessed attendees with works both time-tested and still-in-progress. A night that began with pronounced intimacy became all the more so as the hours passed and other fellow poets began to trickle in and participate, resulting in an ever expanding line-up showcasing diverse styles, tones, and themes well into the early morning.

Annu Saini (1)

If this opening movement was any indication, expect a reprise of the Basement Poetry bash to happen again in the near future, though if you do plan to attend, for the love of God please don’t ask one of the humble scribes on hand to recite a piece by Saul Williams. (You’d assume some things shouldn’t need saying, but this, unfortunately, should have been printed on the flyer!).

Mumbles (1)

For more info:

Truth Is:

Annu Saini:


Annu Saini (2)

Mumbles & Annu Saini

Truth Is (2)

Truth Is (3)

Mumbles (3)

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