Born in Chicago more than 20 years ago, the slam is the art of reciting poetry with or without music. Over the past few years, several talented Montréal slammers, like Carl Bessette, Ivy and Amélie Prévost can be found in the company of Elkahna Talbi, alias Queen KA, winner of the 2016 World Slam Cup in Paris.
“It takes more than good writing to compete in slams,” says the Queen. “You also need the guts to get on stage, measure up to the other slammers, cope with criticism from the jury—and risk being eliminated.”
In addition to slams, a growing number of poets simply like to play around with words, read literature and recite poems in front of an audience. So Montréal bars are opening their mics.
“There are different kinds of open mics,” says Queen KA. “There’s stand up, hip hop, jam, verse, prose… you’ll hear things you’ve never heard anywhere else.”
Montréal’s open mic scene has generated a community where poets can count on having an audience. “And plenty more are coming aboard,” says a happy Queen. “Kids love poetry.”
QUEEN KA'S 3 FAVES
- Bistro ouvert at the Bistro de Paris
- Vaincre la nuit at the Quai des Brumes
- SoloVox at café L’Escalier