The art of spoken word has been around for thousands of years—but Toronto’s slam poetry
scene is still relatively new. In comparison to the United States, where slam has been thriving for
nearly 100 years, as early as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Toronto’s scene is still
developing. The city’s largest poetry slam, Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS), is only about 15 years
old. With recent government cuts to the Ontario Arts Council and the lack of a deep-rooted
history, it’s time to look at slam poetry in Toronto and how it plans to flourish amidst these