CPC Summer Slam Recap!

And the living is easy
The poets are jumping
And the spitting is hard.
Oh, the host is poised
And the DJ is spinning…
So snap, little baby
Don’t you be nice…

Tonight was another edition of the CPC Summer Slam and the poets were ready to throw down, CPC Summer Style!

Ben was quick with a ‘Welcome to Capital Slam’ at the door (Technically this is CPC Summer Slam as opposed to CapSlam, but that is splitting hairs…)

DJ RPM was setting the mood.

Sarah Ruszala had many a witty bon mot to share with the rapt crowd.

But first we started with the open mic!

Candice Bruchhaeuser was first up and she reminded the crowd of the CapSlam 2014 Team Bandcap album available now!

Next was Mayhem with his musical interlude!

We wrapped up with Benoit doing a song he had never sung before!

After that excitement, it was time for some sacrificial blood and it came from Playto! (Who was also scorekeeper on the night, with some timing/doodling help from PrufRock.) 8.2 7.5 8.5 8.3 7.8 – 24.3

Sarah let us know that there were six intrepid souls who were braving the 3-1-3 Summer Slam format so they would all be moving on to all three rounds!

First out of the hat was… Kay Kassirer! 9.7 8.8 8.2 9.3 8.9 – 27.0

OYPS Team Member, Covered in Wednesday was next up! 9.4 8.5 9.3 8.8 9.7 – 27.5

He was followed by his team mate, who is ALSO an Urban Legends team member, D-Zaster! 8.5 8.3 7.0 8.5 9.1 – 25.3

Former CPC Director and multiple-time CapSlam team member, Sir Realist hit the stage!9.5 8.7 9.8 9.6 9.8 – 28.9!

SIX TIME CapSlam team member (including this year) and CapSlam Slam Master, Rusty Priske was next! 8.9 9.3 9.6 9.7 TEN! – 28.6!

The first round finished up with Urban Legends team member, DMP! 8.7 8.6 9.0 9.2 7.3 – 26.8

SO after the first round Sir Realist had a small lead over Rusty with the rest of the field not far behind, but what would happen….


One minute poems!

First up: Rusty Priske! 8.7 8.5 9.2 8.5 8.7 – 25.9 for a total of 54.5

Next was round one leader, Sir Realist! 9.8 9.2 TEN 9.3 9.6 – 28.7 for a 57.6!

Next was Kay Kassirer! 9.0 8.7 8.5 9.2 TEN – 26.9 for a 53.9

Was it natural or man made? D-Zaster was next! 8.2 8.5 8.1 8.2 8.1 – 24.6 for a 49.9

DMP hit the stage again. He had some mic problems but it didn’t detract. 9.3 8.8 8.2 8.4 8.7 – 25.9 for a 52.7

The last poet before the break was Covered in Wednesday. 8.0 8.5 8.2 8.1 9.8 – 24.8 for a 52.3

After the break we had a feature set by 2014 CapSlam team member, Artemysia!

In addition to reading some great poetry, she reminded the audience that the CapSlam2014 Chapbook is available for only $8! There are many ways to support the team!

Back to the slam!

Covered in Wednesday had to drop out, but we still have five word warriors wielding weapons of wits!

First up on the final round was DMP! 9.2 9.4 9.7 9.8 9.3 – 28.4!

Rusty Priske! 8.9 9.7 9.8 9.7 8.9 – 28.3!

D-Zaster! 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.7 7.3 – 23.2… despite forgetting his poem, switching and doing a completely different poem!

Kay Kassirer! 9.8 9.2 9.2 9.4 9.5 – 28.1!

Sir Realist! TEN 9.6 9.9 9.5 9.8 – 29.3!!

Final results!

1. Sir Realist – 86.9
2. Rusty Priske – 82.8
3. Kay Kassirer – 82.0
4. DMP – 81.1
5. D-Zaster – 73.1
6. Covered in Wednesday – 52.3

Next up, the CapSlam & IN/Words fundraiser on August 1st at Pressed Cafe and then, the very next night, we are back at the Mercury Lounge for a new edition of the CPC Summer Slam, featuring Candice Bruchhaeuser!

The CapSlam Team Needs YOUR Help!

The CapSlam team has been working hard, getting to ready to represent Ottawa and the CPC Community at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Victoria this fall.

The thing is, it costs a whole lot to get the team out there… plane tickets and hotel rooms aren’t cheap, yo.

So, how can you help? Well, there are two great ways to can help out right now, while getting something excellent for your money!

One of those ways is to go to the CPC Summer Slam this Saturday at the Mercury Lounge. You will get to see a great 3-1-3 Slam as well as an amazing feature by CapSlam Team Member, Artemysia!

Another way is to stroll over to BandCamp where you can download a 10-track album by the CapSlam 2014 team! It is strictly a pay what you can affair so download and enjoy, and help us out in whatever way you can!!

Thanks for the 2014 CapSlam Team!



It has been a long month since our last CPC Summer Slam. Scheduling conflicts kept us to only one show in June, but we are back for two in July… starting with tonight!

Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam and Urban Legends Slam Team member D-Zaster was our host for the evening and he gave everything a WWE feel…

DJ RPM was spinning the tunes and he gave everything a Brother Love feel…

Benoit was on the door… Chuck was handling the scoring… Jenica was wrangling the judges and they gave everything a mixed-tag hurricane match feel…

First we had the open mic and we got music and poetry stylings from Mayhem, Loose Change, Benoit and John – a newcomer to our stage!

Then came sacrificial blood in the form of CapSlam team member, Candice Bruchhaeuser! 9.0 9.5 TEN 8.9 TEN – 28.5

One of those tens was actually a twelve but that judge was suitably chastised before the actual slammers hit the stage.

Summer Slams are 3-1-3 format with 8 poets int eh first round, 6 in the second and 4 in the third.

First out of the hat was… Huxley! The artist formerly known as Loh El kept those judges happy! 9.2 9.0 9.8 TEN 8.5 – 28.0

Next was Lana K! 8.8 9.5 9.2 9.0 9.2 – 27.4

Collective Director, Brad Morden was next up! 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.4 – 28.8!

Brad was followed by Marz! (Mars in Mercury?) 9.2 TEN 8.9 8.5 9.7 – 27.8 (quite a spread!)

Next was DMP! 9.0 9.6 9.0 9.3 9.5 – 27.8

Kay Kassirer! 9.5 9.7 8.9 8.5 9.0 – 27.4 (Another poem where the judges had little consensus…)

Playto was the penultimate poet of the round. 9.4 9.8 8.9 8.6 8.5 – 26.9

Lastly we had Nina Strange! 9.4 9.6 9.4 9.5 8.0 – BUT, she went 3:25 so after a 1 point penalty, she had 27.3

That was a costly penalty as it looked like Nina and Playto were dropped after the first round…

… but wait! It seems that Lana had to leave, so that meant Nina was back in!

Time for… the LIGHTNING ROUND!

First up… Marz! Unfortunately there is little room for error in a one minute round and his stumble cost him as he went 1:26. 8.9 9.3 8.2 8.7 8.0 – after his 1 point deduction he had 24.8 – 52.6

Next was DMP! 8.7 9.4 9.6 9.0 8.9 – 27.3 – 55.1

Brad Morden was back for a second go round, after getting the top mark in round one. 9.7 9.8 9.5 9.0 9.5 – 28.7! – 57.5!

Nina Strange TORE UP the LIGHTNIGN ROUND! 9.8 9.7 9.9 9.8 7.9 (?) – 29.3 – 56.6 (If not for her first round time penalty, she would be in first…)

Next up was Huxley! 9.0 9.7 9.8 9.8 8.9 – 28.5 – 56.5

Kay Kassirer rounded out the second frame. 9.4 9.8 9.2 9.2 7.9 – 27.8 – 55.2

Then it was break time followed by our feature performer…. CapSlam team member, Avonlea! Avonlea did a great set, mixed with ‘spoken word’ and ‘page poetry’ (quotes very intentional), and debuted a team piece by her and teammate Rusty Priske!

Great, GREAT set!

Then, back to the slam! Only four poets were still in the running… starting with…

Brad Morden! 9.9 TEN TEN 9.4 9.5 – 29.4!

Huxley! 9.0 TEN 9.0 9.0 9.4 – 27.4

Kay Kassirer! 9.5 TEN 9.7 8.9 9.1 – 27.3 (after a 1 point time penalty)

Nina Strange! 9.6 TEN 9.9 9.3 9.9 – 29.4!

In the end, Nina’s first round penalty proved to be VERY costly!

Final results:

1. Brad Morden – 86.9
2. Nina Strange – 86.0
3. Huxley – 83.9
4. Kay Kassirer – 82.5
5. DMP – 55.1
6. Marz – 52.6
7. Lana K – 27.4
8. Playto – 26.9

The next CPC Summer Slam takes place on July 19th, featuring Artemysia! Don’t miss it!


Summer is here and what better time to start the CPC Summer Slams! (As host Brad Morden said, we tried running them in the winter and it just seemed odd…)

This year, each edition of the CPC Summer Slam includes a feature by a member of the 2014 CapSlam team!

We kicked off with Brad welcoming a trio of open mixers to the stage. We started with Benoit who sang an epic ditty about a dental hygienist who was having an excellent day (improv with audience input…). Then we had Mayhem with his brand of balladeering. We wrapped up with Kel Seashore providing the only actual poet on the open mic!

Then we were ready to go! Nine poets threw down for the first three minute round… but first we needed some blood! Sacrificial poetry came in the form of OYPS Finalist, Chuck! 8.3 8.3 8.5 7.9 TEN – 25.1!

Then it was time for Brad to reach into the magic hat and draw out… another OYPS stalwart, Nina Strange! 8.6 8.9 8.5 8.2 8.9 – 26.0

Next up was a CapSlam vet (and I know she would laugh at me saying that, but hey…) Mia Morgan! 9.2 8.3 8.6 9.4 8.4 – 26.2

Next up was Obnoxious! 8.3 7.3 8.4 7.4 8.5 – 24.1

Urban Legends finalist, DMP was next to the stage! 8.8 9.0 9.0 9.4 9.4 – 27.4!

Next was scene veteran and super-presence, Loose Change! 8.1 8.0 8.5 9.1 8.2 – 24.8

The next two were poets that we have not seen slam min aground Ottawa in FAR too long… starting with 2010 Urban Legends Champ, Synonymous! 8.9 9.7 9.4 9.6 8.9 – 27.9!

Then came the poet formerly known as Loh El, under his new ‘guise’, Huxley! 8.2 TEN 9.0 8.6 8.4 – 26.0

The penultimate poet of the first round was Kay Kassirer! 8.6 8.9 9.8 8.8 8.6 – 26.3

The first three-minute round ended with D-Zaster! 8.6 9.0 8.7 8.4 8.5 – 25.8

With that done, we weren’t resting! We launched straight into the one-minute LIGHTNING ROUND!

Only the top six poets from the first round were moving on and we started with… Synonymous! As Brad realized that we had never told him it was a 3-1-3 format… he pulled it together, though, finding something on his phone and pulling it off! 8.4 9.3 7.9 8.9 9.0 – 26.3

Next was Nina Strange! 8.7 8.9 8.6 9.4 8.6 – 26.2

The next lightning wielder was DMP! 8.5 9.6 8.8 8.8 8.4 – 26.1

Then we got another minute from Kay Kassirer! 8.8 9.0 8.8 9.2 8.7 – 26.6

Continuing his return in style was Huxley! 8.8 8.9 9.2 9.4 8.8 – 26.9

Wrapping up the round was Mia Morgan! 9.2 9.4 8.7 9.3 8.7 – 27.2!

Before we moved on to the final round the audience was witness to the proto-stages of Rusty Priske’s new show, called ‘This is Day One’.

They seemed to like it. :)

Then it was the final round! It was supposed to be Top 4 after the first two cumulative rounds but there was a tie so we got five poets!

Starting with… Synonymous! 9.2 9.3 8.9 9.6 8.7 – 27.4!

Next was DMP! 9.4 8.8 9.3 8.9 9.2 – 27.5!

The mid-point went to Kay Kassirer! 9.4 8.6 9.4 8.6 9.0 – 27.0

The honour of the penultimate spot went to Huxley! 8.8 9.8 8.4 9.2 9.2 – 27.2

Mia Morgan went 3:08… I mention that because that was the closest to a time penalty we had! 9.0 9.1 8.9 8.8 9.7 – 27.0

So, how did the first CPC Summer slam shake out? (Well, each round had a different high scorer!)

1. Synonymous – 81.6
2. DMP – 81.0
3. Mia Morgan – 80.4
4. Huxley – 80.1
5. Kay Kassirer – 79.9
6. Nina Strange – 52.2
7. D-Zaster – 25.8
8. Loose Change – 24.8
9. Obnoxious – 24.1

Next up… the CPC AGM, June 22nd, 3pm at the Royal Oak on Laurier!

Then, on July 5th, the next CPC Summer Slam, featuring Avonlea!

CapSlam Finals and the 2014 Capital Slam Team!

Once again, like every year for the past TEN years, poets came together last night to find out who would make up the new Capital Slam team and who would take their place on the Championship belt alongside such luminaries as OpenSecret, John Akpata and Ian Keteku.

The Alumni Auditorium was humming as one of those previously mentioned champions, OpenSecret, took the stage as host for the evening. DJ PrufRock was giving us the sounds and great volunteers like Jenica Shivkumar, Ruthanne Edward, Benoit Christie and Nina Strange were making sure everyone was where they needed to be. Panos (Playto) and DMP were poised with the scoring and timing implements and poets were… pacing… sweating… shuffling…

We started with some great guest performers. We kicked off with that of afore-mentioned DJ as PrufRock stepped up to the mic. Pruf was the regular season champion for CapSlam this year. He was a member of the National Championship CapSlam team in 2010 and has also repped for Urban Legends. This year he will be a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam team.

Our second guest poet was Billie the Kid. Billie is the only poet who will have represented Ottawa at YouthCanSlam both years. (Billie is also leaving Ottawa for future endeavours elsewhere so this year’s YCS is her – at least temporary – swan song here. Come out in August to cheer her on!)

Our third guest poet was the FIRST person to get his name on the Capital Slam Championship belt. He was also a member of that 2010 National Championship team and is a Slam legend in Ottawa. John Akpata.

Then it was time for the slam!

But you can’t have a slam without spilling a little sacrificial blood first! And what better way to kick things off with another champion? 2011 Urban Legends champ, King Kimbit! 7.9 8.0 7.2 7.5 8.6 – 23.4

Whoa. Harsh judges! Will they adjust? (Spoiler: yes, but not right away… and we know what that means… welcome to slam. :) )

Eight names in the magic slam hat. Eight poets who desperately don’t want to be drawn first. Dipping into the hat to pull out…

Rusty Priske. 5-time CapSlam team member. Getting the vet out of the way early. 8.5 9.2 8.5 8.2 8.9 – 25.9

If you look at the sac scores, these could be all right. As long as creep doesn’t set in.

Next up was 2013 Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam Champ and first time Finalist, Sarah Ruszala. 8.2 7.5 8.0 7.0 7.9 – and she went 3:12, for a .5 time penalty (the only penalty on the night). 22.9

Rough. Sarah was one of the people that I think most people had pegged as a title contender this year. Her poem was very well-recieved… except by the people holding up the scoreboards. Then there was the time issue. Tough start.

Next up was Candice Bruchhaeuser. Candice is a two-time CapSlam Finalist (one of only three people this year who has stepped on the finals stage before). 8.1 9.0 8.5 9.0 8.8 – 26.4

Very well done! Candice jumps to the top of the list!

Rounding out the first half of round one was Ceilidhe Miller. Ceilidhe was a member of the Youth team down in London and this is her first year slamming in Ottawa. 7.8 9.0 7.3 8.7 8.7 – 25.2

A bit of a spread with a couple of lower judges that pulled her score down a bit.

Another new face this season was P-Rime and he was up next! 8.4 8.0 9.5 7.6 8.1 – 24.5

Talk about a big spread! The scores tossed out were 9.5 and 7.6!

Next was the second poet to have been on a CapSlam team before – Gavin Russell! 9.3 9.5 TEN 8.8 8.7 – 27.6

Spoiler: This was Gavin’s night. There were five TENS all night, and Gavin got four of them.

We rounded out with two more newcomers and the judges loved them both! First was Artemysia! 8.7 8.7 9.0 8.0 9.0 – 26.4

Solid score! She was now tied with Candice in second.

An lastly we had Avonlea! (Interesting story about Avonlea, she literally joined the semi-finals with only a week to go when PrufRock dropped out. She went from not competing to making the finals to…?) 9.1 9.0 8.3 8.8 8.5 – 26.3!

As we went to break, the scores looked like this:

1. Gavin Russell – 27.6
2T. Candice Bruchhaeuser – 26.4
2T. Artemysia – 26.4
4. Avonlea – 26.3
5. Rusty Priske – 25.9
6. Ceilidhe Miller – 25.2
7. P-Rime – 24.5
8. Sarah Ruszala – 22.9

We came back from the break with a second Sacrificial Poet ready to get the audience back into the groove! It was a new member of the Up From the Roots team in Toronto, Scribe! 9.2 9.3 8.8 9.0 9.0… oh, and a big time penalty that nobody cares about so, whatever. 25.7 :)

So it was back to the magic hat… first up, the leader after Round one… Gavin Russell! 9.4 9.3 9.5 9.3 9.4 – 28.1!

Gavin came back with the highest score of the night so far!

Next up was Rusty Priske. 9.1 9.3 9.3 TEN 9.4 – 28.0

There was the only non-Gavin ten… and nearly as good a score in round two, though he still lagged behind after round one.

Third up (again) was Candice Bruchhaeuser! 8.7 9.4 9.2 9.2 9.3 – 27.7!

Another solid score! Candice still had a firm hold on second!

Next was P-Rime! 9.2 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.4 – 27.0

What would have been a great score in Round one was a little weaker in round two. Score creep had definitely kicked over the last round.

Artemysia returned to the stage for round two! 9.4 8.0 8.9 8.8 9.2 – 26.9

Avonlea was behind Artemysia by .1 after round one, so… 8.9 9.3 9.0 9.0 9.0 – 27.0

…she outscored her by .1 in round two! Ties are always interesting, because if they end up tied in FIFTH, an extra person is going to round three…

The penultimate poet of the round was Sarah Ruszala! 9.5 9.3 8.8 8.9 9.2 – 27.4

We finished up with the return of Ceilidhe Miller! 8.8 9.0 9.0 9.2 8.9 – 26.9

Two rounds are done. Moving on to Round three are the top five poets. This will be the CapSlam 2-14 team and we will find out who is the 2014 Champion.

The first member of the team, and now SIX time CapSlam team member (breaking his own record)… Rusty Priske. 8.8 9.3 9.0 9.1 9.5 – 27.4

Next was the first of three FIRST TIME team members, Artemysia! 8.7 9.6 9.5 9.2 9.5 – 28.2

Then came TWO time team member, Gavin Russell! 9.5 9.5 TEN TEN TEN – 29.5!! Wow!

First time team member, Avonlea! 9.6 9.5 8.5 8.8 9.3 – 27.6

First time team member, Candice Bruchhaeuser! 9.7 9.4 9.2 8.9 9.1 – 27.7

So, who was the champion? If you read this recap, it should be obvious!


Full final scores:

1. CHAMPION – Gavin Russell – 85.2
2. Candice Bruchhaeuser – 81.8
3. Artemysia – 81.5
4. Rusty Priske – 81.3
5. (team alt) Avonlea – 80.9
6. Ceilidhe Miller – 52.1
7. P-Rime – 51.5
8. Sarah Ruszala – 50.3

So, now what?

Well, a couple of things… just because the finals are over doesn’t mean a rest for us!

The CPC Summer Slam starts up on June 7th at the Mercury Lounge! Remember folks, the CPC Summer Slams have a 3 minute, 1 minute, 3 minute format and have a $100 prize!

Then (tentatively) on June 22nd we have the Capital Poetry Collective Annual General Meeting! Time to come out and have your say on how thing safe going to be run next year! This covers ALL CPC shows, including the Youth Slam, so come on out!

Also, the new CapSlam Team will have some serious fund raising to do this summer so when you see shows pop up, please come out and support your 2014 CapSlam team: Gavin Russell, Candice Bruchhaeuser, Artemysia, Rusty Priske and Avonlea!

Capital Slam Finalist Spotlight: Rusty Priske


Rusty Priske is the vet of the crop of finalists this year. He has been a member of five CapSlam teams, including the National Championship 2009 team, which evolved into The Recipe (which he was a member of for a time). Last year a poem that was conceived by Rusty, written by Gavin Russell and performed by the CapSlam team, was selected to be staged on the CFSW Finals stage (“Puppets’).

Rusty is also a member of the critically acclaimed group, Copper Conundrum as well as being the Spoken Word Canada National Slam Master, the Capital Slam Slam Master, and the founder of the VERSEeOttawa Hall of Honour.

Yeah… he keeps busy.

The 10th Capital Slam Finals take place on May 24th at the Alumni Auditorium at the University of Ottawa. Doors at 6:30. $10 at the door.

Capital Slam Finalist Spotlight: Sarah Ruszala


Sarah Ruszala hit the Ottawa poetry scene like a hurricane in the 12/13 season. She gained quick fame by appearing as the opening act for Shane Koyczan when he performed at Algonquin Colege. By the end of that season Sarah was the OYPS Champion and part of the team that would finish second at the first YouthCanSlam.

Sarah has since become the Slam Master for the Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam and is one of the leading names in the resurgance of youth voices in the Ottawa scene.

The 10th Capital Slam Finals take place on May 24th at the Alumni Auditorium at the University of Ottawa. Doors at 6:30. $10 at the door.


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