Author Archives: calgaryyouthslam

A Gift, Just for You

In keeping with the spirit of the seasons, we here at CYHMN? have two little gifts for you. The first is a gift of information so that in the shortened and darkened days ahead you can feel some reassurance from a sense of certainty about what the future holds as you rest your weary, and possibly sugar-plum-filled heads.

The dates for CYHMN? 2016 have been set!

On May 13 and 14, 2016, school-aged poets from across the province will once again meet and slam in Calgary to see which school and students get to (are able to) hoist the much-adored but impossible-to-duplicate CYHMN? trophy as they are named Alberta’s provincial slam champions!

The second gift is one of rhyme:

As you do perpetually,

keep checking back determinedly

for the latest insiders’ story

about the slamming of poetry.

But for now rest assuredly

in the satisfying certainty

that 2 days are hurriedly

coming towards us currently,

which will be filled with poetry

and a profound sense of community

unless you horrifically, heinously, and criminally

choose to go somewhere ever-so-distantly

from Alberta’s home of school-aged slam poetry,

also known as the city of Calgary.


Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Wonderful Winter Solstice, Beautiful Bodhi Day, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Festivus, or Happy Holidays (whichever you happen to celebrate)!


1st Ever CYHMN? Solo Slam!

The first CYHMN? solo slam is finished, and what an amazing night of poetry!

More than 50 people spectated at the spectacle of spectacular performances performed by 9 open mic poets and 10 slammers!

Poems were shared during the open mic segment of the evening by Levi, Kiara Flotten, Tataina Auramenko, Emily Firmston, Maziar Matin Panech,Timothy Curtis, Sydney Low, Precious Joy Tugade, and Rachel Massey.

After Britta generously played the role of sacrificial poet, slammers included Jarod Sexfang, Bri Lynn, Keeley, Robin Bowering, Alexis Kelly, Kim Firmston, Daryll Sazon, Paul Finkleman, Em Dubs, and John Williamson. Congratulations to Paul Finkleman for winning the slam, narrowly beating out Jarod and Bri, who earned second and third places, respectively.

Thanks to the poets for their performances, everyone who attended for their encouragement, to ATB Financial for their generous support, and Loft 112 for the space!

See you all next month (January 5th) for another night of open mics and slamming poetry!

If you want to open mic next month, you can sign up at the door. If you want to slam next month, bring your best 3 poems and sign up at the door. If you want to spectate next month, show up at the door and we’ll let you in – you won’t even have to huff or puff. (But we won’t let you in if you’re Hufflepuff, because everyone knows Slytherin rocks the slam scene!)



December 1 – Poetry Slam Starts!

After the amazing debut of monthly Can You Hear Me Now? events with an open mic at Loft 112 on November 3, we’re following it up with a monthly poetry slam.

On November 3 we had a full house, thanks mostly to a large contingent from Morrin who rolled in with 3 vehicles worth of students! Kim Firmston and her Reality is Optional writers group also contributed a large contingent of performers for the evening while Tyler Perry MC’d for us. Our feature poet, Inongé Chimwaso, blessed us all with a number of powerful and beautiful poems about love and about her family.

This month, we’re starting a monthly poetry slam that will be in addition to the monthly open mic. Poets should have 3 poems prepared, with each one taking no longer than 3 minutes to perform. Props, musical accompaniment, and animal acts are all prohibited from the slam. Poets should also remember that this is an all-ages event, so poets of any age, from 2 to 102 are welcome to perform.

Any poets who would like to slam or participate in the open mic can sign up at the door. If you’d like to put your judgmental nature to good use, please let us know at the door if you’d be willing to judge the slam.

See you at Loft 112 (#112 – 535 8 Ave SE) on December 1st at 6:30 pm! Open mic starts at 6:45 pm with the slam to follow immediately after.

Just One More Day! – Open Mic on November 3 at Loft 112

That’s it – just one more day – until the first ever, all-ages monthly open mic organized by Can You Hear Me Now? kicks off at Loft 112 (#112 – 535 8 Ave SE, Calgary).

Doors open at 6:30 pm (free admission!) with performances starting by 7 pm. You can sign up through the Facebook group, at the door, or by emailing Tyler Perry (his email is linked in the toolbar on the right hand side of the page).

Bring a poem, a song, or some lyrics to share with poets of all ages from southern Alberta!

Can You Hear Me Now? would like to thank ATB Financial (#100 – 303 Shawville Blvd. SE, Calgary) for sponsoring us with a generous donation!

Book to the Face? Poster!

If the gibberish-like title didn’t draw you in, then maybe the following information will:

We’ve now added an updated Facebook page, which can be found here (! Like the page, or bookmark it, or file it, or whatever people do with unbelieveably awesome Facebook pages, so that you can get the most current information about Can You Hear Me Now?

But that’s not all – now you can download, print, and post your very own copy of the poster promoting our monthly open mic/solo poetry slam that’s being held at Loft 112 (#112 – 535 8 Ave SE, Calgary) at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month between November and April! (Try saying that 3 times, fast.)

Monthly Poster

Be sure to share it with all of your friends. And share it with all of your enemies too, because enemies don’t become frenemies unless you do something nice for them, like sharing a phenomenal promotional poster!

Back and Better Than Ever!

Sorry for the long silence, slam fans, but we’re back and better than ever!

First and foremost, we’re going to be holding MONTHLY events in Calgary starting with an open mic on Tuesday, November 3! Admission is free, and it starts at 6:30 pm. You can sign up at the door or by sending an email to Richard Wagner ( (Out of courtesy to all poets, please limit performances to less than 5 minutes.)

Loft 112 (#112 – 535 8 Ave SE, Calgary) is hosting us, and ATB Financial is still generously sponsoring us!

We’ll be running an event on the first Tuesday of every month at Loft 112 (starting at 6:30 pm), with a monthly all-ages slam beginning (hopefully!) in December so polish up your best haikus, sonnets, or slam poems and be ready for some incredibly fun, supportive, and inspiring nights of poetry!

Second, check out the latest and greatest: the amazing logo design for this year, created by the winner of the 2015 design competition, Clarissa Noel of Lord Beaverbrook High School. It’s the beautiful piece of art in the top-ish, right-hand corner of this page (just to the right of the title of this blog).

And third, check back next week to see (and download your own copy of) the poster advertising all of the monthly Can You Hear Me Now? events for this season.

Our website will be getting updated much more regularly going forward, so check back every week for the latest news, tell all your friends to check back regularly, and be sure to subscribe to the Twitter feed: @HearMeNowYYC so you don’t miss any of the latest news.

Congratulations to St. Anne – 2015 Can You Hear Me Now? Provincial Poetry Slam Champions!

Congratulations to the students and coaches of St. Anne Academic Center in Calgary, for winning the 2nd annual Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam!

St. Anne Academic Center Poetry Team - Provincial Poetry Slam Champions at Can You Hear Me Now? 2015

St. Anne Academic Center Poetry Team – Provincial Poetry Slam Champions at Can You Hear Me Now? 2015

In the finals they competed against Father Lacombe High School (Calgary), Bellerose Composite High School (St. Albert), Centennial High School (Calgary), and Lord Beaverbrook High School (Calgary) to emerge victorious. As provincial champions, St. Anne won a $250 prize donated by ATB Financial.

Congratulations, also, to the following students and teams who won $50 prizes donated by ATB Financial:

Poets’ Choice Award: Bethel Afework (Father Lacombe High School)

The Poets’ Choice Award winner was decided by poets who voted for the person they felt gave the best performances of the best poems during this year’s competition.

Best Solo Performance: Emma Williamson (St. Anne Academic Center)

The Best Solo Performance nominees were determined by looking at the solo performances that earned the highest scores from judges in each bout, and the winner was determined by coaches discussing and reaching consensus about the overall best performance.

Best Group Performance: Bishop Grandin High School

The Best Group Performance nominees were determined by looking at the group performances that earned the highest scores from judges in each bout, and the winner was determined by coaches discussing and reaching consensus about the overall best performance.

Spirit of the Slam Award: Chevy O’Dell (Lord Beaverbrook High School)

The Spirit of the Slam Award was voted on by coaches and awarded to the student who earned the most votes for demonstrating the best support for, encouragement of, and attitude towards fellow poets during the slam.

Design Award: Clarissa Noel (Lord Beaverbrook High School)

The Design Award was given to the best poster and logo design entered in the Design Competition.

Thank you to all the poets, teachers, coaches, spectators, judges, emcees, and volunteers who made this year’s Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam the best yet!

We hope to see you all back again next year!

Final Teams Set!

Congratulations to Bellerose Composite, Centennial High School, Father Lacombe, Lord Beaverbrook, and St. Anne Academic Center for making it into the finals for the 2015 edition of Can You Hear Me Now?

Finals start at 3:30 pm.

Five Days Away!

In just five days, the 2nd Can You Hear Me Now? poetry slam will take place.

Bring a non-perishable food item (for the Calgary Food Bank) and watch some of the best performance poets in the province compete for $500 in prize money (generously donated by ATB Financial)!

Check out the slam schedule and support your school, your former school, or a rival school!

Preliminary 1

April 17, 2015
  • Bout 1 (@ Lord Beaverbrook) – 3 pm to 5 pm – Beaverbrook, Bishop Grandin, Discovering Choices
  • Bout 1 (@ Thirsk) – 3 pm to 5 pm – Robert Thirsk, Churchill, Noble Central, St. Mary’s
  • Bout 2 (@ Lord Beaverbrook) – 6 pm to 8 pm – St. Anne, Bellerose, Father Whelihan, Our Lady of Peace
  • Bout 2 (@ Thirsk) – 6 pm to 8 pm – Centennial, Morrin, Father Lacombe
Preliminary 2
April 18, 2015
  • Bout 1 (@ Lord Beaverbrook) – 9 am to 11 am – Beaverbrook, Noble Central, Father Whelihan
  • Bout 1 (@ Thirsk) – 9 am to 11 am – Robert Thirsk, Father Lacombe, Bellerose
  • Bout 2 (@ Lord Beaverbrook) – 12 pm to 2 pm – St. Anne, Discovering Choices, Morrin, St. Mary’s
  • Bout 2 (@ Thirsk) – 12 pm to 2 pm – Churchill, Centennial, Bishop Grandin, Our Lady of Peace
April 18, 2015
  • Finals (@ Beaverbrook) – 3 pm to 5 pm – Teams TBD (top 4 teams after 2 preliminary rounds)

Listen Up! Coaches’ Meeting – April 2

On Thursday, April 2, the Listen Up! coaches’ meetings will be held.

It’s mandatory that at least one coach from each team competing in Can You Hear Me Now? participate in at least one of the meetings.

The first meeting will be held at Lord Beaverbrook High School from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Please park in the lot on the East side of the school, just off of 90th Ave SE. Once you enter the school, follow the signs to find room 103 (the “Staff Dining Room,” where the meeting will be held).

The second meeting will be held  from 8 to 9 pm via Skype. Please email Richard Wagner ( if you are planning to attend this meeting (if you haven’t already been in contact about this).

Essential information will be shared at these meetings about the schedule, rules, competition, shirts, scoring, and prizes.

See you there or then!