Once a month, spoken word artists head out to their local poetry slam.

The forum provides a chance for spoken word artists to compete for a spot on the city team that will head to the national poetry slam contest in Victoria scheduled for fall, 2014.

Steve Locke is the Director of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam. SCENE asked him to tell us why poetry slams are so much fun:

1. Poetry slams are underground literary competitions that combine an energized poetry reading with the judging of a diving competition. The top poets compete to be a part of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam Team, to then challenge other cities at nationals.

2. Slams are meant to be exciting, emotional, and inspiring. It's an art form which blends many genres like spoken word, poetry, hip hop, stand-up, and theatre. Just about anything goes, and you've never seen poetry like this!

3. The Winnipeg Poetry Slam is a quirky, diverse community that has represented the city in national competitions for ten years. It is made up of many voices from all walks of life. Slam poets can be very unassuming, but beware...

4. Our slam poets have been very active touring slam and spoken word festival circuits; in theatre, improv and comedy productions; in literary journals; in school classrooms, and in various forms of media.

5. Aaron Simm was our most recent Grand Slam Champion. At nationals during the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Montreal, he was part of a finals stage showcase where his poem Mickey Mouse, was voted as a festival favourite.

Keep your schedule clear between June 4-7 for the inaugural Winnipeg Spoken Word Festival. Many respected spoken word artists from across North America will be converging on our community to raise roofs and blow minds, beginning with the Winnipeg Poetry Slam Finals.

Catch the Winnipeg Poetry Slam on Wednesday Feb. 25 at the King's Head Pub & Eatery in Winnipeg's Exchange District.