Spoken Word

 No poet will ever take the written word as a substitute for the spoken word; he knows that it is on the spoken word, and the spoken word only, that his art is founded.

~Lascelles Abercrombie


Back in October I wrote a blog post about poetry. Well, here I am–3 months later–doing it again. With a twist.

Spoken word poetry.

At the beginning of the year I was shown a spoken word poem called How to be Alone in English. Recently, someone sent me the link again and it spurred on a (perhaps borderline-obsessive) need to find more spoken word poetry. So here is a list of some of my favorite spoken word poems.

How to be Alone by Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman

Instructions for a Bad Day by Shane Koyczan

 Pass On by Michael Lee

Ashes by Andrea Gibson

Scars/To the New Boyfriend by Rudy Francisco

 OCD by Neil Hilborn

Hashtag America by Alex Sparks

Brave New Voices by Kai Davis and Safi Niara

Brown Boy. White House by Amir Safi

Repetition by Phil Kaye


There’s a reason why spoken word poetry resounds so deeply with so many people. It’s different for each individual but for me it’s never the poem itself–the words on paper or the story it tells–but the way the poem is said. Many people can read a single poem–the same author, the same words–yet it will be different every time. It’s all about perception. But when a poet reads his or her poem, nothing gets lost in translation and you have everything stripped down to raw emotion and words.  The the footprint left behind by that emotion and the rhythm of words, is what makes spoken word poetry so powerful.

For more information on what spoken word poetry is, go here.


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