21 Spoken-Word Poems Everyone Must Hear

21 Spoken-Word Poems Everyone Must Hear

Words hold power, and these poems are the must see jems muddled behind the reputation of "hard to understand" poetry.
1127
views

These poems are in no particular order because let’s be real, they’re all amazing, and for those of you who want to watch them all but don’t want to look all of them up separately, check out this YouTube Playlist with all of poems on the list. I also included collections of poetry by these very poets if you become a fan, but if you're not loaded with cash like most poetry loving people (sarcasm), feel free to check out the other video alternatives from these poets.


1. Brenna Twohy’s “In which I do not fear Harvey Dent”

This poem is an amazing introduction into the world of Brenna Twohy as her pop culture references and strong voice makes her spoken word refreshing. If you enjoyed this performance, I would recommend her collection of poetry entitled “Forgive Me My Salt”. Make sure to also checkout her other poems, such as the lovely “Anxiety: A Ghost Story” on YouTube or the written ones on her Tumblr.

2. Sabrina Benaim’s “Explaining My Depression to My Mother”

This spoken word gives concrete images to abstract feelings, showing the truth about a mental illness that most never consider. This poem reflects on the challenges of heath and the importance of support via family. Don't forget to listen to her beautiful poem called "Reasons". Sabrina also has a collection of poetry available for pre-order entitled “Depression & Other Magic Tricks”.

3. Kevin Kantor’s “People You May Know”

The words of this poem are heartbreaking and captivating at the same time, them speaking out on their situation warms my heart and their story breaks it. Kevin Kantor is a poet, actor, and activist. Kevin’s poems show strength and the reality of the world. If you enjoy it, make sure to check out their other poems such as “Unsolicited Advice” along with their collaboration poem with Sienna Burnett entitled “Phases”. Feel free to also check out Kevin's chapbook, "Endowing Vegetables with Too Much Meaning".

4. Melissa May’s “Dear Ursula”

This poem speaks to body shaming and the importance of the representation within the media. Melissa May is a youth advocate and strives to fight ignorance through teaching. Make sure to watch "To The Stranger" because it will tug on your heartstrings unless your'e heartless. If you enjoy her shedding light on significant topics though, check out her book called “Sparkle Fat: Poems That Intend To Be Seen”.

5. Shane Koyczan’s “To This Day”

This poem, along with the animation, captures beautifully the issue of bullying and the strong impact of words. Shane’s depiction is spot on, make sure to check out his performance rendition with backstory on TedTalk. Shane also has albums of poetry on his website, including the most recent entitled "Debris". Shane also has physical collections of poetry, check out the one based on this poem called "To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful".

6. Dylan Garity’s “Rigged Game”

A National Poetry Slam Champion and a board member of Button Poetry, Dylan’s poem speaks about the importance of education and the struggle of immigration in America. If you enjoy his real world perspective then watch his poem “To Governor Scott Walker” that also sheds some harsh truths about the world.

7. Karina Stow’s “Trigger Warning”

This poem is heartbreaking and the repetition makes it truly stunning. Karina’s poem has so much emotion and intensity that it will give you shivers. This poem really brings awareness to sexual abuse and how culture makes woman feel like society condones it. I couldn't find another poem by her online but all the more reason to honor and respect the one we have, right?

8. Ebony Stewart’s “Monday”

This poem addresses the humor of a worldwide hatred of a day with vigor and connects it with real issues.Ebony is not only a spoken word poet, but she also dabbles in the art of theater with her one-woman stage play entitled “Hunger”. Ebony’s poems “Happy Father’s Day” and “Happy Mother’s Day” are also invigorating and fresh and something worth looking at.



9. Anacristina’s “On being Bilingual”

The vibrate language of Spanglish or hybrid of Spanish and English transform the poem and the depth of the story many want to tell but can't quite find the words to. Anacristina’s words are fast and her telling of struggle is astonishing. Anacristina shows that words are powerful but they can only do damage if you let them. Watch out for her next spoken word, because if this one is anything to go by, it will be amazing.

10. Spencer Brownstein’s “Off-Brand”

The subject of this poem tackles the issue of discrimination and stereotypes about minorities. He speaks with clarity and displays the importance of the right kind of representation. If you enjoy this watch, make sure to listen to his poem “Double Vision” that will give you goose bumps from the chills.

11. Bianca Phipps’ “Almost"

This poem is absolutely amazing as the breakdown of one word changed due to the intensity behind it. This poem almost made me cry, and it hit home with whopping emotions. Bianca’s poem “The Heartbreaker Poem” also breaks the boundaries of emotion and family. If you're a big fan, try to grab her paperback, “White River Happiness”.

12. Rachel Wiley’s “For Fat Girls Who Consider Starvation When Bulimia Wasn’t Enough”

This poem shows the significance of body positivity, and is lyrically beautiful along with a definite tearjerker. Rachel Wiley is not only an activist and poet, but also a staff member of the “Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam”. Make sure to check out her collection of poetry called “Fat Girls Finishing School". If you enjoy her honesty, watch the amazingly true "10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy" or "The Dozens".

13. Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Hair”

This poem about hair unravels to speak about Dominican immigration and the amount of self- oppression that comes when persecution is all one knows. If you connect with this poem as much as I did, be sure to check out her collection entitled “Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths” and her Tedtalks about presence. Elizabeth's "Afro-Latina" is another awe-inspiring poem and her collaboration with Pages Matam and George Yamazawa entitled "Unforgettable" is a remarkable must-see.

14. Yesika Salgado’s “On Bad Days”

As a co-founder of Chingona Fire, a Latina feminist poetry collective, Yesika’s poems focus on body positivity and her culture. Yesika’s lyrical analysis of her struggle is spectacularly heart wrenching. If her voice captivated you, and it probably did, then I’d recommend listening to her poem “Brown Girl” or read her collection called “The Luna Poems”.

15. Neil Hilborn’s “This Is Not The End Of The World”

The voice of this poem twists dark and breathtaking until it’s woven into beautiful spoken word. Neil Hilborn’s slam poetry always hits home and his topics never falter from the spectacular. If you liked this poem, make sure to watch his poem “OCD” ad "The Future" or grab his bestselling book “Our Numbered Days”.

16. Angelica Maria Aguilera’s “The Disappearing Girl”

The poem spoke about the importance of body image and the lasting thoughts once one gets “better”. Angelica Maria’s “Cinco de Mayo Costume” poem is also stunning because it demonstrates the disrespect of cultural appropriation and how t diminishes the struggle of minorities.

17. Joseph Capehart’s “Fire Escape”

This poem speaks in powerful words and brave statements. It shows the possibility of ending cycles of abuse and the importance of family. Joseph is a nationally touring poet and speaker who’s words pack a tight punch. If you enjoyed this poem, then watch another one of his poems entitled “For My Mom”.

18. Blythe Baird’s “Pocket Sized Feminism”

A poet and feminist, Blythe’s poetry speaks volumes on expectations of women and the worldwide neglect of their equality. Her poem brings up the bystander effect and how women are taught to be silent. If you connect with her words, check out her debut collection entitled “Give Me A God I Can Relate To” or another video of her poem entitled “When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny".

19. Lydia Havens’ “Smart Girl”

The words of this poem are magnificent, and Lydia’s remarks on expectations and the consequences for breaking them will leave you speechless. If you love her work, I’d recommend checking out her collection of poetry called “Survive Like The Water.”

20. Tucker Bryant’s “Oreo”

This poem spoke about discrimination found when one doesn’t follow the path of the stereotype taped onto them. Tucker Bryant’s piece reflects greatly on the struggle of minorities. Tucker’s slam poetry speaks about real issues and gives a voice to those who are slowing losing theirs. If you liked this poem, try to check out another poem of his called “Facts About Myself”.

21. Mercedez Holtry’s “My Blood is Beautiful”

This poem is an amazing breed of words that show the beauty in everyone no matter where they come from. Mercedez Holtry is part of the “Humans of New Mexico” community project. She also strives to be a writer and a mentor. If you enjoy her poem, check out another one of her bests entitled “Trapped Room” or her paperback col ection entitled "My Blood is Beautiful"



I hope you enjoyed this list and maybe you are inspired to write poems of your own. Take a step out of your comfort zone and write one. I'll link my own spoken word poem entitled "Divided We Fall" to let you know that anyone can write poetry if they have the strength to speak their truths. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you. Remember, the person most qualified to write about your struggles, is you.

Cover Image Credit: Poetry Slam Inc

Popular Right Now

If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
6951
views

With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Board Games Are More Important Than You Think They Are

They've become a defining part of my family.

1401
views

Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a family game night? Or your friends would come over and you'd open the game cabinet and play at least three different games together?

Maybe it's just me, but those are some of my best memories from my childhood. My family loves games, board games, and electronic games.

Of course, as I got older, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Wii became more and more popular. That meant that the game cabinet was opened less and less, collecting dust.

Thankfully, I live in New Jersey near the shore and Hurricane Sandy left my family with no power for five days. Sure, it was scary not having power and walking around my neighborhood seeing fallen trees or roof shingles, but we were inland enough to not have had any flood water damage.

No power also meant no PlayStation or Wii games. The gaming cabinet was opened again, this time with vigor. Now, four years later, and I still think about sitting in the dark with a flashlight playing Scrabble with my family.

That was also the week I learned how to play Yahtzee and dominated my dad in every game. My sister constantly was looking for someone to play her to Battleship. We exhausted Rummikub.

The game was already a family favorite, and that's including extended family. Family barbeques had been ending with late night games of Rummikub for at least a year by the time Sandy hit.

We were ready to strategize and crunch numbers, but after day three, we never wanted to a number ever again.

This semester, there's been a surge of board game love again in my family. My sister bought Jenga, which we are currently trying to exhaust ourselves with. My favorite board game also had a comeback: Life.

I loved this game so much that I had the SpongeBob version as a kid. I would play it with my best friend, just the two of us, playing game after game of Bikini Bottom themed Life. Now, I have a car full of "kids" that I've started to make pets in my head. I can handle having five pretend dogs, but not five pretend kids.

I don't know what it is about board games, but my family has always had an affinity for them. We've gone through our cycles of playing video games and card games, but we always come back to the classics. Maybe it's more a defining part of my family than I originally thought.

Related Content

Facebook Comments