Words Aloud presents the best in spoken word from across Canada and beyond. With nine main stage performances, it’s a magical alchemy of spoken word’s full range.

Words Aloud 12

The poet cannot escape his or her obligation to bear witness to the times. It is impossible to separate the life and the art. Nietzsche, in another context, once said that we have art in order not to die of the truth. Wherever there is language, there too stands the writer, the ultimate observer, a little to one side of things, but there. Whether the subject is a diving beetle or a firebombing, the poet's function is to speak of the encounter.
- Maxine Kumin


Celebrate National Poetry Month

April 21 2016 - Words Aloud and the Scenic City Film Festival bring you Al Purdy Was Here, Brian D. Johnson’s extremely well-received biopic about the iconic Canadian poet.

Director Brian Johnson will be in-house to chat about the making of the film.  Also on offer that evening, some fine readings/performances by Words Aloud’s own Steve Morel, as well as Coco Love Alcorn and Owen Sound Poets Laureate Rob Rolfe and Larry Jensen.

Kick off the 2016 Words Aloud season by supporting our April 21 fundraiser.

April 21st, 7 pm , Heartwood Concert Hall, 939 2nd Avenue E., Owen Sound.

Tickets: $20  - available in advance from Heartwood Home (downstairs from the hall), or at the door.

See you there!

(Please note: Heartwood Concert Hall is not barrier-free – it is on the second floor up a flight of stairs.)


Welcome to our 2016 Words Aloud Artistic Director

Words Aloud is thrilled to announce that Terry Burns, past Festival Coordinator (2011-13), has stepped into the role of Artistic Director for 2016. Terry, as well as a talented poet and performer in her own right, is a gifted arts administrator.  Terry will be supported in her role by the core planning group  of Ann Hagedorn, Hazel Lyder, Skyler Radojkovic, Katherine Edgecombe and Jenny Parson and many other dedicated volunteers.


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Are you a secondary or post-secondary student who's interested in being part of Words Aloud? Check out our shiny new scholarship opportunity and you could meet, work, learn and socialize with our amazing team of festival volunteers as well as the festival stars. Sound amazing? Find out more.

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Did you know we have a YouTube channel? That's right, all the tasty spoken poetic goodness from our festival over the years. Check it out.

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Support Words Aloud with a donation on our CanadaHelps page for the Durham Art Gallery.


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Check out the spoken word study guide now.

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Mosaic Magazine

Media sponsor Mosaic Magazine has a new website.  You should check it out!

The Documentary

This documentary takes you on a journey through the many forms of spoken word, including dub, slam and lyric poetry, performance poetry, and storytelling. Click here to learn more.


What I have crossed out I didn’t like. What I haven’t crossed out I’m dissatisfied with. 

— Cecil B. De Mille

Literary Links

How to tips for tall tales and other wonders from DrakenSang.  Thanks to Andy and all the students in Mrs. Ward's class in Maine, USA, for passing this one on to us!