Posts Tagged ‘Danielle Gregoire’

Friday night the Copper Conundrum performed as part the Vernacular Spectacular show at the Ottawa Storytelling Festival. It went very well and we received a lot of very positive feedback. Danielle, Kevin and I had a great time and we really appreciate Caitlyn Paxson for inviting us to perform.

Speaking of the Storytelling Festival, if given the opportunity you NEED to go out and see Tim Tingle perform. The man is brilliant. It was as emotionally moving as any performance I have ever seen.

Saturday night was Capital Slam. The features were an amalgam of Urban Legends and Wild Card team members from CFSW. It was fun. There was a surprising dearth of performers… maybe because six of them were featuring. πŸ™‚
I wasn’t planning to sign up, but since we only had seven slammers I added my name to make it eight.

Because I hadn’t really prepared, I did a couple of poems I had been working on with the Copper Conundrum. It is fun to do older stuff sometimes. I did Library and The Stranger. They went over well and I ended up third (improving my season score a little and keeping me in first overall… until Chris Tse performs again. πŸ™‚

We had a first time winner… Sepideh! She wowed ’em at CFSW and now has a Capital Slam victory under her belt! Well done!

The final rankings were:

1. Sepideh
2. PrufRock (making his season debut)
3. Rusty Priske
4. Talia
5. Loh El
6. Ronsense (Ron Langton now has a stage name!)
7. Marco Lobo
8. Kheim Possible

On Sunday, Ruthanne Edward held a Story Slam at the Ottawa Storytelling Festival. It was a lot of fun. It was a more ‘pure’ storytelling lineup (as opposed to the Once Upon a Slam crowd which has a mix of storytellers and narrative poetry). There were a lot of time penalties (including two people who racked up 6 point penalties each), but in the end the top scorer wasn’t decided by the stop watch.

1. David Hickey (Montreal)
2. Kim Kilpatrick (Ottawa) – (two slams, two 2nds for Kim)
3. Phil Nagy (Ottawa)

One item of note was Kate Hunt of the Kymeras, who is a great poet, but had never slammed. She took Ruthanne’s workshop and made her slam AND storytelling debut! She ended up with a very good score, but picked up one of those 6 point time penalties. Nobody cared. It was awesome.

This Friday is the return of Once Upon A Slam at the Mercury Underground. Story Slam is rising fast and looks to be the Next Big Thing! Get in on the ground floor (pun intended…)

CONTEXT: May, 2010

When Danielle Gregoire, Kevin Matthews and I got together to work out our first Copper Conundrum sets, we decided to see if we could riff off each others work… using it as a springboard for new writing.

Danielle has a poem called ‘Pre-pubescent Genius’ which some people may know as ‘We Never Kissed’. I decided to write my own section to that, telling a different story of young {ahem} love. πŸ™‚

    We Never Kissed (after ‘Pre-pubescent Genius’ by Danielle K.L. Gregoire)

We never kissed.
Sitting two rows over
In second period algebra
Trying to calculate the
Difference between actually
Asking you on a date
And solving for X.
Even my teenaged brain
Recognized I may be valuing
You for the length of your
Skirt rather than the
Quality of your mind –
But what else did I have
To go on, since we had
Never actually spoken.

We travelled in different circles.
Yours was the popular crowd
And mine… wasn’t,
But if John Hughes movies
Taught me anything,
Those are just roadblocks
That can be eventually overcome
By perserverence and
Comedic co-incidence.

I knew we were fated
For mutual infatuation,
Hand-holding, plus possibly the
Sorts of things that run
Through the mind of a
Puberty-riddled boy way more
Often than we will ever admit.

You were my one-and-only love
… For about a week
Until I fell head over heels
For yet another girl that
I would never kiss.


Next is another piece that came out of the Recipe’s Ingredients workshop.

You may have seen mention of it here and there, but let me tell you about the majesty and awe of the Copper Conundrum.

A while back Danielle Gregoire came up with the idea of gathering a couple of fellow redheaded poets and going on a mini-tour of Ontario. We were all for it, but it fell through, for a variety of reasons. Then an opportunity came up for us to perform at the up-coming Ottawa Fringe Festival so we brought the idea back and here we are!

One thing I am pretty sure about is that this is not a one-off thing. So far it seems that we enjoy working together (if I can speak for my fellow Copperites), so expect to see this grouping move forward and do more gigs in the future.

For now what we have scheduled is a Toronto Poetry Slam feature followed by three shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival.

So, who are the Copper Conundrum?


Danielle is the former Director and Slammaster of Capital Slam as well as the founder of the Lanark County Slam (the first ‘rural’ team to ever compete at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word). Danielle has won positions on two slam teams and is currently working on her third. She has performed in MANY places and has a CD collecting all of her live recordings from Capital Slam over the years called Optimism is a Constant Struggle.

Oh, and she is a mom and her daughter is awesome.


Kevin is the person I have most heard referred to as ‘the best poet in Ottawa’. He may argue that, but I am writing this so TOO BAD! Kevin was one of the trifecta of peots I heard when I first started listening to spoken word that combined to make me want to be a poet myself (along with John Akpata and Steve Sauve). Like Danielle, Kevin has made Slam teams from more than one community – once with Winnipeg and twice with Capital Slam. He has performed everywhere and has taken to adding music to his poetry to highten the audience’s enjoyment of his performances even more. Kevin is awesome.


That’s me, eh?

Current Slammaster for Capital Slam… the Slammaster for the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2010 in Ottawa… a member of three Capital Slam teams, including the 2009 National Championship team.

And stuff….

Anyway… soon we will have a Facebook group so you can follow our exploits.

Make sure you come and see the Copper Conundrum wherever you can!