Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Spoken Poetry

Poetry is an...

Poetry is an… (Photo credit: liber(the poet);)

Have you ever attended a Poetry Slam?  This  is where poetry gets to break out of its stuffy stereotypical silently read and reflected mode.  A Poetry Slam is where poets perform their poetry.  Recitation is accompanied by dramatics and the audience gets in on the action through rating the performance.  It’s amazing.  It will forever change your opinion that poetry can only be recited in dull monotones from a podium in front of barely stirring, half-asleep listeners.

One of my favorite Spoken Poetry artists is Taylor Mali. Not only was he formerly a teacher, he is one of the few poets who is actually making a living as a poet.  Go to his website or type in his name on YouTube for any number of his videos.  Much of his poetry deals with his experiences, opinions, and outlook as a teacher.  I can definitely relate to the subject matter–yet, his words reach to a wider audience as well.

His most repeated poem is:

We held a poetry slam at our local library a few years ago.  One of my students performed her work and left the audience, mainly middle-schoolers with a smattering of high schoolers, cheering and clapping.  She was supposed to go on the regionals and couldn’t due to her age (16). Who would have thought talent could be hemmed in by being too young?

Check out Poetry Slams and next time someone says poetry is boring you can plug in a Taylor Mali and then ask for their revised opinion.

Happy Poetry Month!

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3 thoughts on “Spoken Poetry

  1. Wow, thanks for watching my first poetry slam and thinking it worthy to reference in your spoken word educational post! I’m really honored.

    I like that your tagline is “a writer’s journey as a reader.” I feel that especially now as I’ve been reading a lot more with intention and purpose to self-educate myself on all the must-reads of poetry and English Literature. You might be interested in the poetry course called ModPo (Modern and Contemporary American Poetry) Coursera (free online courses) offers as a ‘reading writer.’ I took it and it was pretty awesome. If you do, tell Al Filreis (the professor) I said hi. 😉

  2. Pingback: Spoken Poetry | As Open As the Sky...

  3. Pingback: Video Poems | cricketmuse

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