Founded in April 2008, Tonight it’s Poetry was built to create a premier performance destination for poets in Saskatchewan and poets touring through the prairies. As well, it aimed to create cohesion among emerging poets living in Saskatoon in a site that celebrates artistic and cultural diversity.
Its initial palm-sized audience grew rapidly and forced the series to move from its original venue, FLINT, to a much larger venue, Lydia’s Pub. After Lydia’s Pub closed in June of 2013, TiP relocated to The Bassment. Tonight it’s Poetry then found a home at The Woods Alehouse (2nd Ave). Currently, our shows happen at Amigos Cantina on Dufferin Avenue, Sundays at 8 pm. Tonight It’s Poetry has created a significant stir in the Canadian performance poetry community, bringing in poets from all over the country and even the United States to feature every week. Our stage has been graced by well-known spoken word artists Shane Koyzcan, C.R. Avery, Mary Pinkowski, Ian Keteku, and Mike McGee. Tonight it’s Poetry has hosted hundreds of established and emerging poets.
The Saskatoon poetry community has expanded to include a monthly youth series: Write Out Loud. Their monthly shows take place on the last Thursday of each month at the Frances Morrison Branch Library. Write Out Loud sent teams to represent Saskatoon at YouthCanSlam in 2013 and 2014, and has sent teams to participate in the national festival, Voices of Today, for the last two years. The Write Out Loud team placed third at the 2018 competition.
Tonight It’s Poetry has sent a slam seam from Saskatoon to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) nearly every year since 2009, and hosted the annual national festival in October 2012 and October 2015. In 2015, Saskatoon’s team placed first at CFSW, highlighting the talent that lives in the bridge city. Each year, the community also chooses a single poet to represent Saskatoon at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship in Vancouver, as a part of the Verses Festival of Words.
Tonight It’s Poetry loves to collaborate with local organizations. We host storytellers from the Storytellers’ Guild on a number of occasions annually. Our poets perform for special events, like Take Back the Mic in conjunction with the USSU Women’s Centre. We love working with Saskatoon’s Indigenous Poets Society and look forward to many future collaborations. If you are an organization interested in a collaboration, please contact us. You can check out a list of our collaborating partners.