Over 450 people showed up to be edutained.
Now in its 16th year, Twitter was awash with quotes as the poets delivered their lyrical wit.
The show started with Toronto’s very own David Delisca. Rewind to 4 years ago. It’s a poetry show and the seemingly shy David hits the stage and does a poem titled “Blackberry Love”. The crowd went crazy, Blackberry lovers united in laughter. Fast forward to 2014 and David’s poems are a reflection of family, love and the Black struggle. The maturity in his lines hits a note with the mostly Black Canadian female audience, as he recited his poems from various electronic devices, papers and books.
Ottawa based smooth talking poetic crooner Brandon Wint entertained the ladies with his smooth delivery and poems on love and emotion.
I have a pet peeve. I don’t normally like poets that recite poetry from devices, books or paper. I made a rare exception for both David and Shihan from Los Angeles, who closed out the first half of the show. With his high energy and comic delivery, he dissected the racial hypocrisy that plagues America with his poetry.
Toronto International Poetry Slam 2014 runner-up Brandon Williamson from Buffalo did well getting the crowd fired back up in the second half.
But the night belonged to Dwayne Morgan and Rudy Francisco.
Dwayne’s poems were the most honest I have ever heard him perform. He was inspirational and “drop off the chair” funny. Having seen him perform over the years, he was at his optimal point. He later told me via text ”I felt good about what I was bringing to the stage this year” and it showed. In his promotional lead-up, Dwayne teased on Social Media about “Silver Fox”. Let’s just say that the ladies left with 50 shades of his grey.
I often wonder why certain poets are chosen to close a show. We quickly found out why.
From his introduction, he took control of the audience. Providing them with his preferred feedback phrases which included, “hmm”, “Jesus take the wheel”, and “let’s go”. He let the audience know he wasn’t into finger snapping because it was “old school”.
Rudy Francisco was a poetic tsunami. With perfect delivery and effortless charm, he frequently stopped, allowing the crowd noise to subside before continuing spoken word that was soothing to the ear. I could have listened to more of his poems, maybe, at another When Brothers Speak.