What is Spoken Word Anyway?

So, what is this spoken word thing anyway? Is it just poetry read aloud? Some is. Sometimes spoken word is rap or hip hop. Sometimes it is structured verse and iambic pentameter. Sometimes it’s Emily Dickinson reading from the page, and sometimes it’s Walt Whitman working himself into a foam, delivering words for the tragic and profane masses. What ever spoken word is, it isn’t meant to be absorbed as dead words on a page. You have to experience the words and the performance of the words together.

I have shared some of the text of my poems, but reading it isn’t the same as watching the poem unfold. The performances from the October 12th Urban Legends Slam are now up on YouTube, so if you’re wondering what slam poetry looks like check out a few of these amazing poets doing their thing.

I had the chance to perform two pieces that night: “A Matter of Mistrust” and “Don’t Give Me Words.” These two pieces are part of a series exploring the feminine voice in a world where girls and women are so often taken for granted. I feel I should mention that the language and style of these spoken word pieces is different from my page poetry and articles and may be NSFW.

I performed the third piece in the feminine voice series, “No Means No,” on Saturday night at Capital Slam. A fourth piece is in the works and will likely debut at the VERSeOttawa women’s finals in January.

Ever since I jumped into the spoken word scene back in September, all of my creative energies have been focused on the art of spoken word. Having the chance to share brand new writing with supportive audiences every single week has been an incredible motivation for me to work hard on my writing. Feedback is important for growth, and live feedback is intoxicating.

I’ve been chasing this wild, poetry horse, what dreams have you been chasing?


5 thoughts on “What is Spoken Word Anyway?

  1. Finally saw them, and they are killer. No Means No was my favorite. This is very impressive, I wasn’t even aware there was anything like that out there. It’s pretty wild. You’re great at it too, definitely keep it up and keep them coming!

    • Thanks for the props, Jack:) I’m ridiculously psyched for the VERSeOttawa women’s championships this weekend. I’m performing “No means No” (also my favorite) and a new piece “Consent is a Sexy Beast.” Someday I’ll finish some non-femme pieces like “Corporations are People Too…”

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