Slamming and Growing!

Old faces and new voices joined together Tuesday to compete in the 5th Mississauga Poetry Slam.

Held once again at their new venue Naughty Nadz, this show featured a lot more home grown Sauga talent. A good sign for founder Matt Miller a.k.a. Lip Balm, as he tries to bring attention to the growing Mississauga scene. His hope is to have his hometown represented in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, which will occur in Saskatoon this coming October.

By what is being seen at these ever growing slams, it seems as though this team will be one to look out for.

Out to perform for the night were the usual suspects such as previous winner Tomy Bewick, who only performed in the open mic portion, novice Knowledge Gonzalez, veteran Yogi and thought provoking Brent. The night offered a lot of new faces too, and isn't that what it's all about? Having people come together and share their views to the community via this art forum.

Topics of night included personal joys and struggles, political hardships and how the political affect the personal. To say the least it was an emotional night, especially for newbie Knowledge.

A profound set of poems came from Ambrosia, who was also the runner-up. Though she is not new to the slamming scene, it was her first time to this event. Though she is not competing to make the Sauga team, as she is part of the Toronto youth team Bam Slam, she is impressed and happy to see these events happening in her town.

"[The Mississauga scene] is really good, it's really strong, especially tonight. I saw some really good poets. Some kind of 'of and coming', that I know from experience that if I come back in a couple of months their going to have improved tenfold," said Ambrosia, whose real name is Aria Tesolin.

As the talent rises each month, Ambrosia's words seem to hold true. The confidence levels of all who performed were higher than ever. This held particularly true for winner Yogi, who was so riled up that he pushed the mike aside during his set.

Despite being in first place for the overall competition, Tuesday marked his first win.

"It's funny. I've lived in Mississauga since I moved to Canada. I've been going to Toronto poetry slams, Burlington poetry slams, I've been to every Mississauga slam so far and never won. Always wanted to cause this is my hometown slam, but I finally won and it feels great," said Yogi.


Yogi performing his winning poem.

Another newbie to the Mississauga Slam was Craig, aka CDH. He has preformed at poetry reading and slams before in the past in Toronto but never in Mississauga. CDH got fifth place this evening!

Complimenting the artists of the night was feature act Christian Drake. Hailing from New England, Drake is on a Canadian tour to see new slamming scenes and showcase his talents. What talent he is indeed. His passion and energy are felt instantaneously has he delivers personal and humors poetry. He uses every part of himself and at times his body movements become an extension of his words as they become one and the same. If the opportunity should arise to catch one of his shows, it comes highly recommended.

Concluding the night was funny girl and host Cathy Petch. Her quick wit and supportive nature helped make the night a true success.

"I think there are lots of great people coming out... It is so good because these are people I don't see in Toronto," said Petch.

Wanting to stay involved, Petch will be performing in next month's slam as the feature artist. Be sure to check it out Tuesday April 24, at Naughty Nadz.

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