Spoken word is a type of performance-based poetry that uses word play and story telling. It originated from the poetry of African Americans in Harlem and has evolved into various different forms through experimentation. This type of poetry is becoming more and more popular today with different spoken word artists performing their pieces all over the world.
In celebration of National Poetry Day, we’ve taken the liberty of listing down some spoken word poets you should definitely listen to. Check it out here:
Andrea Gibson is a poet-slash-activist born in Maine. She has been feature in different media outlets including Air America and Free Speech TV. She now has five full length albums with Floweboy being the latest, and two poetry books including Madness Vase. Check out her emotional performance of one of her most popular piece, “Maybe I Need You.”
2. Franny Choi
Franny is a writer, performer and a teaching artist all rolled into one. She is part of Project Voice, a group of artists that aims to teach people from all over the world on how they can express their art. She is a Rhode Island State Council of the Arts fellow and the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) Check out her piece, “POP! Goes Korea.”
Denice Frohman was named 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion among several other awards she had received throughout her career as a spoken word artist. Her works tackle about race, gender, and sexuality. Born and raised in New York city, Frohman teaches and performs poetry in different arts venues, rallies, K-12 schools, colleges, and detention centers. Her poem, “Dear Straight People,” has gone viral with over 1.5 million views on Youtube. Check out her performance down below.
4. Tonya Ingram
Tonya Ingram is a member of multiple national slam teams and has been making noises in the industry for quite some time now. She is currently an MFA student at Otis College of the Arts in California and has recently published her first book of poems entitled, “Growl and Snare.” Watch her amazing performance of her piece, “Unsolicited Advice.”
5. Neil Hilborn
Neil Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam Champion. He graduated with honors at Macalester College in 2011 with a degree in Creative Writing. He had released his first full-length book, Our Numbered Days and has also released a chapbook titled, Clatter. In 2011, he was a member of the Minneapolis Adult National Poetry Slam team . He is also a co-founder of Thistle, a Macaelester literary magazine. He conducts several writing workshops for high school and college students. Listen to his tear-jerking piece, “OCD”