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You are here: Home // Battles, Central Canada // Kardinal Offishall, Maestro & Melanie Durrant to Judge at Last Poet Standing [Event]

Kardinal Offishall, Maestro & Melanie Durrant to Judge at Last Poet Standing [Event]

Toronto, ONDwayne Morgan has outdone himself. The longtime stalwart of Toronto’s entertainment scene has been promoting poetry-focused shows in the city for nearly two decades. Never has he come up with something like this.

All the hubbub and hoopla in the local poetry scene is about The Last Poet Standing — a head-to-head poetry slam like no other, produced by Up From The Roots Entertainment. Sixteen poets from Canada and the US (The P.O.E., Kuya Patrick, Gary Jones, Lip Balm, Eytan Crouton, Dan Murray, Just Jamaal, Shoolie, Noah Kaplan, Poetic Speed, Tallawah, Electric Jon, Ritallin, Deonte Osayande, Eddy da Original One and Tomy Bewick) will step into a boxing ring, two by two, to spit 3-minute poems in front of a panel of celebrity judges and a rabid crowd anxious to see some poetic blood spilled on the canvas.

Already revealed as judges for this event are: former Baby Blue Sound Crew member and G98.7 FM radio personality Kerry Lee Crawford; FLOW 93.5 FM drive time diva Jeni JJ McKenzie; legendary spoken word artist and writer “Doctor Poetry” Robert Priest; urban soul-pop singer Melanie Durrant; Canadian hip-hop pioneer Maestro and Canada’s “hip-hop ambassador” producer-rapper Kardinal Offishall. The identity of the seventh and final judge will be revealed by Morgan on Friday.


Features of the show that have been announced include: fans are encouraged to bring noisemakers, signs and other materials to show support for the poet they are backing. Each poet will enter the arena to a pre-selected entrance song. The poets in each pairing will perform their poems one immediately after the other. While one poet performs, the other will sit on a stool in a neutral corner. After each has performed, the seven judges will indicate which performance they preferred. The poet who earns the support of at least four of the judges will move on in the competition, and the other is eliminated.

With such a high powered line-up of poets and a stellar cast of judges, the energy in the room will be high. And with this being the first event of its kind ever held in Toronto, this is not a show you want to miss.

The Last Poet Standing takes place at The Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W.) on Saturday night. Doors open at 8pm and the show begins at 9pm. Advance tickets are still available at Play De Record (357A Yonge St.), A Different Booklist (746 Bathurst St.), Knowledge Bookstore (177 Queen St. W., Brampton), or via email money transfer to and pick the tickets up at the door!

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