Vancouver Poetry Slam

Hello, My Name is Van Slam

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The Vancouver Poetry Slam has been wowing audiences since 1996, making it the longest-running poetry slam in Canada.

  • When: Every Monday
  • Where: Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive)
  • How much: Only $6 - $10
  • Who: YOU!

1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th Monday: Open Slam

4th Monday: Youth Slam (ages 14 - 22)

What is a Poetry Slam?

The poet must perform a poem of their own creation, in any style, within the time limit without the aid of props or music.

5 randomly selected audience members will become judges and are given score cards to score the poet from zero to 10.

For more on the finer points of slam, and on how Van Slam's tournament representatives are chosen click here

Where To Find Out More

For event listings, check out the calendar on our forum.
If you're on facebook, you can check out our regularly updated fb group.
Van Slam also has its own YouTube channel, which is updated with new videos of poets after every slam. Check out the videos here.
To volunteer at the slam, email us with your name and phone number, and we'll contact you about getting more involved in the event..

Van Slam Qualifies Poets for Tournaments

Performance poetry tournaments are popping up all over North America. It seems like there's a new one each year! The Vancouver Poetry Slam has various seasons throughout the year, in which poets can qualify for playoff rounds by winning a slam. We host three separate playoff events: the team playoffs (for NPS & CFSW), the individual playoffs (for IWPS and Canadian Indies) and the all-woman playoffs (for WOWps).

National Poetry Slam

The grand-daddy of them all. The largest annual gathering of poets in one place. The biggest adult poetry slam tournament on planet Earth.

Read more about NPS

Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

CFSW is the gathering of the best performance poets in Canada. It is organized by Spoken Word Canada, or SPOCAN. The team determined at Van Slam Finals Night competes at CFSW.

More info.

Individual World Poetry Slam

Pronounced "iWhips" by those who know and love it well, this is the showdown of the best performance poets at work today.

Read more about IWPS

Women of the World Poetry Slam

An all-woman event created by women for women poetry slam competitors. Poets who live their lives as women will be eligible to participate in WOWps.

Read more about WOWps

Slammaster Duncan Shields

Duncan Shields is a two-time Vancouver Haiku Champion, a two-time Vancouver Nerd Slam Champion, a two-time Van Slam team member, and the winner of the 2010 IWPS Haiku Championship held in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the co-slam master for Van Slam from 2010-2012, returning to the role of sole slammaster in December 2013. He also runs Van Slam’s YouTube channel. To contact Duncan about being a feature poet or with other inquiries, email

About Us

VPH promotes the creation and appreciation of poetry throughout Vancouver's Lower Mainland, encouraging both participation and community building through our programs.      Read more »

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