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!
- National Poetry Month: Host a Poetry Slam (bloomingedu.wordpress.com)
- “Future Perfect,” My First Poetry Slam (shoshanasarah.com)
- Coming to Terms with Poetry (cricketmuse.wordpress.com)