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Verses Festival of Words: Word Circus

April 30, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm


A whirlwind of words occurs as Emily Crocker, Brandon Wint, Chelsea D.E. Johnson & Fernando Raguero perform acrobatic feats of wordsmithery and music. A round robin format allows the artists to respond to one another in a spontaneous way. See artists performing in a relaxed, informal, yet electric atmosphere where anything can happen!

Doors at 3:30 PM
Starts at 4:00 PM
Advanced $10 | Doors $12 (or PWYC)

The Vancouver Poetry House respectfully recognizes that our series events take place on the traditional and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) nations. We recognize the colonial violence that led to the creation of Vancouver, and how that allows our organization to exist. We aim to always be cognizant of who is represented on our stages, and to do what we can to reach out to communities who are underrepresented thereupon.

Emily Crocker grew up in Western Sydney and now flickers between Sydney and Wollongong writing and performing poetry. You might have seen her at Wollongong Writers Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Unspoken Words Festival, Story-Fest or Noted Festival. Her debut chapbook ‘Girls and Buoyant’ was published last year by Subbed In. Other poems have appeared in places including Cordite Poetry Review, Verity La, Southerly, Seizure and Voiceworks. Emily’s recent projects include ‘OK, Now Spit’, a pop-punk spoken word show created in collaboration with guitarist Jay Bailey (Shopfront Arts Co-op, ArtsLab 2017/18), and ‘Sonnet’ (as part of All Ears, Campbelltown Arts Centre 2018). She is on the team that brings you Enough Said Poetry Slam in Wollongong, where she is known for writing audience-inspired poems on-the-spot.

Brandon Wint is a nationally acclaimed poet, spoken word artist and arts educator based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Brandon’s work as a writer exemplifies a deep attention to the craft of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Brandon’s work as a writer exemplifies a deep attention to the craft of poetry, the nuances of language, and the social power of words. As a performer, Brandon Wint displays the poise, passion and spiritual generosity of one who has graced stages across the country at music festivals, conferences, universities and grassroots events alike. Brandon is a poet whose work has garnered praise and attention in a variety of mediums. He is a two-time Canadian national poetry slam champion. In print, he is the author of one chapbook, Love, Our Master (In/Words Magazine and Press, 2014) and was a contributor to the only comprehensive anthology of Black Canadian poetry, The Great Black North (Frontenac House, 2012). Brandon has also released three recording projects, including Devotion EP (2015), The Long Walk Home (2016), and his most recent album, Infinite Mercies, which he showcased at the second annual Black Arts Matter festival in February of 2018. His first book of poetry, Divine Animal, is forthcoming from Write Bloody North in autumn 2019.

Chelsea DE Johnson is a powerful voice for female empowerment bursting from the depths of East Van. Dubbed ‘The Voice’ by the late, great Zaccheus Jackson, Chelsea brings healing lyrical content and raw vocal power to every performance whether it be on a stage before thousands or busking on the streets of where she calls home.

Fernando Raguero is a long time regular in the Vancouver Poetry slam scene. He has authored 8 poetry chapbooks, is a two time haiku death match champion and is the winner of the 2002 CBC poetry faceoff for British Columbia. Fernando has been a member of two Vancouver poetry slam teams and co-founded the Crotchless Diaper Hotdog eating contest. Raguero serves up irreverent verse and has a wildly comical view of reality. His favourite yoga pose is saddle. He has his moments.

You’ll note on arrival a set of 10 railed stairs leading into the Hall. The wheelchair accessible entrance is around back. For this event there will be someone posted at the back door throughout the event.

Once inside, you’ll find a spacious wood-floored hall, open concept, tables and chairs set up throughout. The stage (accessible only via stairs) is to your left, and the washrooms towards the back of the hall. The washrooms are currently gendered, but will be marked “gender neutral” for Verses. There are two sets of washrooms. The one to the right of the car, currently mark “women” is wheelchair accessible with no urinals and one additional stall. The one to the left of the bar, currently mark “men”, is on the same level and is now wheelchair accessible, with 2 urinals and one wheelchair access stall and one non-wheelchair access stall. The door has been adjusted to more easily fit wheelchair/scooter users. Overall the space is great.

Please read the Radical Accessibility Mapping Project’s Wise Hall overview for more details.

This event is a scent-reduced space. To assist us in our goal of increased access, please be aware of our attempt to reduce the impact of personal scented products (perfumes, scented oils, etc) in our festival spaces.


April 30, 2019
3:30 pm - 6:00 pm


The WISE Hall (upstairs)
1882 Adanac
Vancouver, BC Canada