In a stunning upset, Halifax now has bragging rights as National Spoken Word Champions. The team of poets representing Halifax at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word rhymed their way past two Toronto teams, and team Vancouver (the reigning champs) in the slam finals tonight in front of a packed house at Coconut Grove. The win means a lot since last year a Halifax team couldn’t afford the flight to Vancouver. Poems ranged from all topics, and host Candy Palmater made the wise comment that a recording of tonight’s performances would be a great gift for Stephen Harper. But there was no doubt Halifax deserved to win. All four poets brought their A-game tonight---each one bringing down the house when they left the stage. It was El’s poem about reclaiming her pussy (with a George Carlin approved thesaurus of synonyms) that solidified Halifax’s bid for the Championship. Halifax’s feat is unbelievable since three of the four members on the team only started reading poetry about a year ago. After winning, team-member Ardath recounted how when she went to her first national slam she wore a patch that said “Halifax Poet” and a poet from Vancouver remarked to her, “I didn’t know Halifax had any poets.” She thanked Vancouver for making Halifax so darn stubborn. If you missed their performances tonight check out SPEAK! this Thursday at a location TBA (Check out the listing on Thursday for the location).