(I’m in the middle of overhauling this page; the list that used to be here was getting too outdated and unwieldy, so I’m taking a breath to update it. While that work continues, I’ve shared a few playlists and resources below.
EXISTING RESOURCES AND PLAYLISTS
- My site’s “Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Resource Hub,” including:
- Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Spoken Word and Slam Poetry: This is the first chapter of my debut book, and it attempts to share some foundational information and dispel some common myths and stereotypes.
- Big List of Resources for Aspiring/Emerging Spoken Word Poets: While the page you’re on now is more for educators and facilitators, this link is what I share with people who are interesting in getting into spoken word as a poet themselves.
- A Few Other Links and Resources
- 30 Poems I’ve Used in Classrooms here.
- An analysis project: A More In-Depth Look at a Few Poems/Videos here
- Button Poetry’s playlist of “classroom-friendly poems” here
- Bernard Ferguson’s twitter thread of poems on climate justice here
- IndieFeed Performance Poetry (a long-running archive of spoken word audio) here
- Disabled and d/Deaf Poets Anthology, Curated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha here
- Split This Rock’s “special curated collection of the poems readers have turned to most from poets within the disability community” here
- The #TeachLivingPoets website here
A PLAYLIST OF PLAYLISTS
Note: the last box here, climate justice, isn’t up yet; it’s a work in progress.
POTENTIAL STARTING POINTS + PERSONAL FAVORITES
Here are a a few poems that I feel like represent what makes spoken word special, especially in the context of how stories and images can be entry points into deeper conversations about issues. If I were going to share any poems with someone who knew nothing about spoken word, or had a bunch of misconceptions about it, I’d probably draw from this list.
- Ariana Brown: Ode to Thrift Stores
- Danez Smith: Alternate Heaven for Black Boys
- Suheir Hammad: First Writing Since
- Sierra DeMulder: Paper Dolls
- Rudy Francisco: The Heart and the Fist (and here’s a classroom-friendly version of Rudy performing this on the Tonight Show with the alternate title, Rifle)
- Patricia Smith: Skinhead
- Kevin Yang: Come Home
- Robbie Q. Telfer: Clowns
- William Nu’utupu Giles: Zombies (Made in America)
- Sonya Renee Taylor: The Body Is Not an Apology
- Ollie Schminkey: It’s Going to Be Okay
- Marc Bamuthi Joseph: You Have the Rite
- Terisa Tinei Siagatonu – Atlas
- Bao Phi: Refugerequiem
- And hey, why not, here’s one of mine that is specifically crafted for introducing poetry and spoken word to people: Kyle Tran Myhre: Poem for the First Day of the Poetry Unit in Language Arts Class
Lots more on the way.