Monday, August 13, 2012

Slam poetry and me

I remember the first day I ever heard slam performed. A slam poet came into my fifth grade class and performed a poem about her mother's kitchen. She was a tall gorgeous young black woman with a polished afro, wooden bangles that danced when she talked, huge hoop earrings, and this awesome baggy sweater that I still remember years later. She helped my class write poems that we then had to perform. It was so much fun, I wrote about my grandma who had recently passed away. From that day forward slam poetry had a strong place in my heart. Everything about slam poetry entices me. Even it's name slam you're slam dunking your thoughts. Or it's other name spoken word. I had never heard poetry to sound and move like music before. Not like that anyway. As I got older I put all notions of poetry on the back burner until recently. I started writing my own poetry again last semester. I'd write them by hand in my journal first and then edit them on my computer until they were perfect! I think some of them are even ready to go to slams! Our school has open mike nights in which anything can be performed...I think I'm going to talk myself into going. Before I really started taking my attempts at writing slam seriously I studied. The thing with slam is that it's powerful when you read it, but it's the performance by the original author that really harnesses the power with every word. You can't just stand there and just read your slam poetry, you have to perform it, preach it, declare it! It's often angry, but I've found enough examples of all emotions and genres. Maybe my love of slam is why I love rap music so much too. They're very similar!

Here are some of my favorite slam poets and their poems:

Sarah Kay, "If I Should Have a Daughter."

One of my favorite poems in general! (Her name has nothing to do with it :p)

Jeanann Verlee, "40 Love Letters."

This poem is just...glorious! 

Nicole Homer, "When your boyfriend asks." 

Such a great message on no selling yourself short.

I could go on and on! Hopefully these will lead you to others like they've done for me, enjoy! 


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