The Vancouver Poetry Slam has been wowing audiences since 1996, making it the longest-running poetry slam in Canada. It is a program of the non-profit organization, Vancouver Poetry House.

The Youth Poetry Slam for poets aged 14–20 happens on the 4th Monday of every month.

What is a Poetry Slam?

The poetry slam arts movement was started in Chicago in the 1980s by a construction worker named Marc Smith to make poets and audiences more responsive to each other.

At a slam, the poet must perform a poem of their own creation, in any style, within the time limit without the aid of props, costumes, nudity, animal acts, or musical accompaniment.

During the Winter Season (from September–March), the slam format consists of two rounds of 3-minute poems. During the Summer Season (from April–August), the slam format consists of three rounds: a 2-minute round, a 1-minute round, and a 4-minute round.

5 randomly selected judges are chosen from the audience. They score each poem from 0 to 10.

Your Slammasters

Slammaster Hal Lackie

Hal Lackie is the Slammaster of Vancouver Poetry Slam. Hal is a queer settler, currently living on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people colonially known as Vancouver, BC. Hal tries to highlight qt-bipoc voices. Hal is passionate about the arts and community and how they fit together to build, individual and community resilience. Hal has been on the coordinating team for verses festival of words 2018, organized a conference and a number of other projects.

To contact Hal about being a featured poet or with other inquiries, email hal@vancouverpoetryhouse.com


Youth Slam Coordinator Mariah Lynne Dear

Mariah Lynne Dear is a majestic woman who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a poet, a nonfiction writer, a feminist, a nanny, and a writing workshop facilitator. Since her spoken word poetry debut at age seventeen, she has travelled across Canada competing both individually and as a team representing the city of Vancouver. You can find out what Mariah is currently working on at http://mariahlynnedear.com!



The wonderful Matt J Loeb manages Van Slam’s YouTube channel. To contact Matt about any video related inquiries email vanslamvideo@gmail.com