Written by: Missy Amato
Toronto is a hub for all things literary, but also for poetry open mics. Whether you rap, slam, or write verse, these ten Toronto open mics are perfect for any creative person.
Free Times Cafe/ Courtesy of @mugabs
Wordspell is dedicated to female and genderqueer folk voices who want to spread some amazing open mic performances. This open mic happens every other month on the first Wednesday of the month. The feminine performance is also hosted at Free Times Cafe, which is also proudly owned by a woman. Girl power!
BAM! Toronto Youth Slam
BAM!/ Courtesy of @bamyouthslam
BAM! Toronto Youth Slam is an ongoing open mic series throughout Toronto which focuses on giving young poets an arena to showcase their amazing work. Hosted by Toronto’s own Scribe, BAM! features some of the best slam artists in the world, let alone Toronto. The show ends with an open for all ages open mic!
My Name Is…
May Restaurant/ Courtesy of @boombaphumpday
My Name Is… is a new Toronto open mic series which focuses on finding unnoticed, and unpublished poetry artists. The open mic takes place at May restaurant, which is slowly becoming a literature hub in Toronto! My Name Is… is also an ongoing event throughout the city, so be sure to look out for this event’s next location! Very up and coming!
Queen Gallery & Music Night
Queen Gallery/ Courtesy of @monvoyageart
This new series of monthly poetry takes place at the impeccable Queen Street East Gallery every third Thursday of the month. This open mic is open for both poetry, verse, music, and even comedic talents. Take a spot on the mic, while also admiring some local art.
Paul’s Poetry Night
Full of Beans Coffee House/ Courtesy of @teemair
Paul’s Poetry Night is in it’s 11th edition and takes place at the wonderfully hip Full of Beans Coffee House near Dundas and Dufferin. Featuring two poets from Toronto, the night is all about expressing new voices, as well as offering some established local talents.
Poetry Jazz Cafe/ Courtesy of @poetryjazzcafe
Wild Writers is one of the most popular open mic series in all of Canada! Wild Writers takes place every first Wednesday of the month at the ultra cool Kensington venue, Poetry Jazz Cafe. The night starts off with two featured poets, while ending with an all inclusive open mic! This event is perfect for new and established artists!
Voices Of Today
Charlie Petch/ Courtesy of Voices of Today Facebook
Voices of Today is a four day youth festival filled with open mics, venues, as well as showcases that bring together some of the biggest names in Toronto poetry, including Charlie Petch. This festival runs from August 22 through the 25 and is sure to give you the chance to shine as a poet. You might even participate in open mic slam which takes place throughout the entire festival!
Shab-e She’r/ Courtesy of Bannoo Zan Facebook
Shab-e She’r hosted by published artist Banoo Zan is said to be, ‘Toronto’s most diverse open mic night.” This open mic is a long event, and can feature up to twenty three minute slots for new artists. Shab-e She’r is also known for it’s large network of people!
Harlem Restaurant/ Courtesy of @thisgirlwithcamera
Djeli is the open mic creation of the amazing and talented Toronto poet Breanna Chanelle Phillip. This open mic is a new bi-weekly mic series that takes place at the Queen Street West Harlem Restaurant location. Djeli calls all poets, singers, rappers, and is an amazing time for anyone!
Slant Reading Series
Montreal Bar & Grill/ Courtesy of @only1arys
Slant Reading Series at the Montreal Bar & Grill on College Street celebrates Canada’s diversity in literature! Each event comes with two amazing featured stars, as well as an open mic for anyone who wants to participate. The best part about this event is it’s location at the Montreal Bar & Grill, which is home to amazing drafts on tap as well as dinner options.