Passion & play @ Zelda’s The Beautiful & the Damned

What an incredible evening of poetry, spoken word, readings, music and friends at Zelda’s The Beautiful and the Damned last night!

The evening’s festivities were hosted by the very cool (and fellow recovering Irish Catholic) poet and radio personality Nik Beat (, who introduced the feature and open mic performers, and shared some of his own work. Nik has a book signing/talk for his collection of poems The Tyranny of Love – coming up on Friday, April 27 @ 6:30 p.m. at Origo Books (49 Lower Jarvis St., Toronto).

Nik Beat

Featured performers included writer/poet/editor/horror aficionado Lizzie Violet (, who read a selection of poems, giving us a great, eerie fun mix of horror, sex and haiku with frankness, art and wryness of wit (my fave is Chlamydia is Not a Flower!, about her mum’s avoidance of the sex talk – and which her mum has stuck on her fridge).



Lizzie Violet


Poet Helen Posno ( shared some beautiful, raw, lyrical pieces, including one recited as a monologue by actor Peter Lynch.

Helen Posno

Singer/songwriter/performer/Johnny Depp-lovin’ gal Kat Leonard ( made us laugh and cry with some tracks from her one-woman show A Depper Kind of Love, as well as her songwriter workshop piece F**K Cancer (to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah), incredibly moving lyrics that brought tears streaming down my face (and a few others in the audience as well). Kat also made excellent use of the onstage stripper pole. 🙂



Kat Leonard

In between the featured folks, Nik asked trivia questions about the dead celeb of the month: Joan of Arc (put together by co-organizer Diane) – and open mic folks came up to perform, including (thanks to Lizzie Violet, who also organized the event and put some great trivia prizes together, for sending this list, along with web co-ordinates, as available):

Tom Smarda
Susan Monroe
All this amazing talent – and it was great to hear so many local poets recite their work. Stand-outs among the open mic folks, for me, were Vanessa McGowan (Lucky) and Ellie Anderson, who both did intensely personal – and poignant, funny and kickass – autobiographical spoken word pieces; and Brandon Pitts, who read an excerpt from a novel, the title of which escapes me. I also can’t recall what Ellie called her piece, but I like to think of it as A Song of Ellie.
Also in attendance to support our gals Kat, Lizzie and Ellie was singer/songwriter Arlene Paculan, who is organizing and performing in the upcoming Wonder Women IV fundraising event for Red Door on Wednesday, April 25 at The Central (603 Markham St., Toronto). This event also features Lizzie Violet, Kat Leonard and Cathy Petch. Here’s Kat with Arlene:
The next edition of The Beautiful and the Damned is May 10.

In the meantime, I’ll be off to Alumnae Theatre tonight (with pals Kerri, Lizzie and Ty) to see the opening night of Così.


Author: life with more cowbell

Arts/culture social bloggerfly & Elwood P. Dowd disciple. Likes playing with words. A lot. Toronto

6 thoughts on “Passion & play @ Zelda’s The Beautiful & the Damned”

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