I consider myself a prose writer not a poet, but spoken word poetry touches me in a way little else does.
So what is spoken word poetry?
Put simply, it is what it says on the packet: poetry constructed with the sole intention of being spoken. It can of course include written page poetry performed outloud, but there are subtle differences. Both forms concentrate on the aesthetics of word play, but whereas the written form focuses on the aesthetics on the page, the spoken form focuses on phonoaesthetics (the aesthetics of sound). So take a listen to spoken word poetry and you will quickly notice how different the oral language, expression and emotion are portrayed.
I want to create spoken word poetry: where should I start?
- Before attempting to create spoken word poetry, take the time to watch various performance poets, look online and attend spoken word open mic nights. Scrutinise their poem and the way in which they perform them: look, listen and feel their creation.
- As with any piece of writing begin with an idea or topic, ideally something you feel strongly about, as you will need to express yourself passionately in your spoken word performance.
- Brainstorm your idea and jot down, words, phrases, feelings, emotions and sensory associations.
- Now start to write your poem rich with vivid imagery. Use repetition to exagerate and extend an image. Create a voice and persona that will capture the poems uniqueness. And feel free to use rhyme as an element of entertainment. Remember your poems soul purpose is to be heard not read and use of grammar is a lot less restrictive.
- Like all forms of writing, your spoken word poem will need editing and proofreading.
- And finally read your poem out loud. In fact perform your poem throughout the creative process to hear how it sounds, adjusting and experimenting with your performance. Stand with an air of confidence and assertiveness (this will also help with voice projection). Draw your audience in with eye contact. Make use of facial expressions and enunciate to feed your audiences senses.