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PLU Slam with Winona Linn

PLU Slam with Winona Linn

Another great slam night with Paris Lit Up!

We started the night off with a solemn, moving poem by Maxx, about the friends he lost at the Bataclan this past fall. Although much too long for a traditional slam poem, the importance of his words far outweighed competition rules, which we ended up scrapping later on anyway! Time penalties? What time penalties?

Next up was Cait, with a charming ukulele love song (we’re a permissive slam) followed by Flavie’s poem about falling asleep with the ‘flu. Jason gave us a sneak peek of a long, looping, longing poem complete with pedals and projections, that he will be performing in Italy on the PLU tour of this year. Steve’s lyrical words ached with loss. Putingrad mayor Ryan read his business cards, which gave 86 clear reasons why we should all hire him for every job. Danica gave us a very relevant piece about respect, that began “It’s incredible that you’ll never know what it feels like to be a girl in this world,” and Andrea (the slam champion!) told us that really, she is actually a “raging bitch.” We agree, with much love. Ending the first round was Shannon, who read an excerpt from her novel in progress, and had the audience laughing with the line “…Now, I’m out to enjoy my investment,” in reference to the great sex she desires.

Our second round began with Andrea, who freestyled about the Mickey Mouse Club. Ryan gave us some hilarious absurdist theatre, with reference to the upcoming Four Play festival. Steve’s second piece was a novel excerpt about truckin’ through Native land, which made this host homesick in the best of ways. Danica gave a love poem to her 13-year-old sister, that showed the human nature of being annoyed by someone and missing them at the same time. Jason came back up on stage, and freestyled for exactly 3 minutes about everything from the fact that he was freestyling (ooh! Meta!) to how hungry he was, and Cait closed the show with another great ukulele song entitled “Life in Pictures.”

As always, there were prizes for the top three places, so Andrea, Jason, Steve and Danica (there was a tie for 3rd place) all went home with new stuff. This month’s slam was still riding the tail of the Lunar New Year, and your host lives in Chinatown, so the prizes included Chinese candies, interesting snacks and drinks, and ceremonial flowers. Our winner was Andrea, from New York, and she will remain the PLU Slam Champion until the next show in 6 weeks! Can you beat her? Will Andrea be crowned champion again? Come back and find out!

A big thank you goes out to our consistent and hard-working judges, without whom we would never be able to do what we do.

— Your host,

Winona Linn


Put your words to the test and show the world what you’ve got. Hosted every six weeks by slam champion Winona Linn, PLU Open Mic Slam challenges performers of all types to engage in competitive performance with their surrounding creative community. Scores between 1 and 10 are given by five randomly chosen judges from the audience in three rounds of verbal combat. In the end, there will be only one performer left standing, hereafter ordained PLU Slam Champ – at least until the next competition!

Held on Thursdays at Culture Rapide, 103 rue Julian Lacroix, 75020 – métro Belleville.


About the host:

Winona Linn is a poet, visual artist, performer, teacher and spoken word artist. Originally from Kingston, Ontario, Linn made a name for herself in the thriving poetry community of Halifax, Nova Scotia while attending the University of King’s College. Linn was the 2011 poet laureate of the Federal Green Party of Canada, and wrote and performed poems on a variety of issues for the duration of the 2011 election. Winona Linn is also the founder of Slam Kingston!, Kingston, Ontario’s first slam poetry series.

Linn’s most recent work, “The Truth About Rabbits,” was published in the spring of 2015 as a joint project between Thee Hellbox Press and Greyweathers Press. This was a joyful collaboration between Linn and two letterpress studios, and resulted in a limited-edition hand-bound rare book, with Linn’s poetry set one letter at a time by Hugh Barclay of Thee Hellbox Press, and interspersed with the evocative and charming wood engraving illustrations of Greyweathers Press’ Larry Thompson.

Currently, Linn lives in Paris, France. She is a regular writer and feature performer in the Paris literary and spoken word scenes, is the director of Paris Lit Up Slam Series, and is in the process of publishing her third book, a graphic novel.

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