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.
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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

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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The 2020 Election: The Democratic Party Part 1

We all have the duty of becoming politically conscious in order to wisely act on the crucial decision that lies ahead of us in the very near future. In this unbiased, multi-part series you'll be able to get a brief look into both the 2020 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

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The race for the 2020 presidential election is on the rise as 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans have been officially confirmed as potential candidates. Ranging from California to New York, we may recognize "big names" such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, however, it's important to get to know all the candidates in order to have a clear idea as to who you want to be leading the country for the next four years.

*Due to the high number of Democratic candidates, they will all be highlighted over the course of three articles throughout the coming weeks.

1. Joe Biden

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Serving as the Vice President alongside Barack Obama and former senator of Delaware, Joe Biden has already ran for president twice, making the 2020 election his third and what he considers, final time. Biden hopes to strengthen the middle class by raising the minimum wage to a more livable standard. He also hopes to restrict the purchase of guns through background checks as well as being in support of a ban on assault weapons.

2. Bernie Sanders

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Having served on both the House of Representatives and The Senate, Bernie Sanders has caught the attention of many Americans due to his push for universal healthcare with the idea that "All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital." As well as making public secondary-education schools tuition-free in a mission to help lower student debt. Sanders believes in the threat of climate change as his campaign includes the future of passing a Green New Deal to move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy as well as ban fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure. Bernie Sanders additionally believes in abolishing the death penalty, reforming the police system, and ending the discrimination of applicants based on criminal history

3. Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke has represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 2013 - 2019. He has a noteworthy platform towards business which includes increasing federal funding towards the Manufacturing Extension Partnership that would aid in creating competitiveness with America's small- and medium-sized manufacturers against global markets. O'Rourke also believes in the idea of increasing voter numbers no matter what the political party may be as well as help ex-convicts regain their right to vote after serving their sentences. In doing so, he plans to create more outreach to the younger generations by ensuring pre-voter registration for all 16 and 17 year olds. Moreover, Beto pushes for a change in creating new term limits for the US House, Senate, and Supreme Court.

4. Kamala Harris

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Kamila is a lawyer and has served as the junior US senator and Attorney General of California. While she is new to the presidential election process, Harris aims to increase teacher pay with the "largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history with a $13,500 raise." Moreover, using her specialization in legal matters regarding sexual assault, Kamila hopes to protect Planned Parenthood as well as women's reproductive rights. Harris states that as President, she will eliminate the wage gap between men and women as well as racial disparities involving maternal health care. Harris additionally hopes in protecting LGBTQ+ rights by not only passing an Equality Act to fight against discrimination in schools, work, and public, but appoint an Attorney General with the purpose of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals.


5. Elizabeth Warren

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Growing up in rural Oklahoma in a low-income home and eventually serving as a US senator for Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is described as a progressive candidate who's campaign is working towards "universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All." Warren hopes to build the middle class up and defend unionized jobs by allowing 40% of board members to be elected through employees. Moreover, Warren is in favor of strengthening the military as well has bringing troops home from overseas, as well as banning private prisons and decriminalizing marijuana. She additionally has stated to end Washington corruption by banning lobbying along with preventing Senators and Congressman from trading stocks whilst in office.

6. Cory Booker

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Attending Stanford and later graduating from Yale Law School, Cory Booker became the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker's main concern is to end gun violence, ban assault weapons, and bring his battle to the attention of the NRA to create "liberty for all." His 14-part plan includes creating a more extensive process to obtain a gun, one of which would including an FBI-issued background check as well as requiring "micro-stamping" on all guns to ensure the ability to trace back the source of ammunition used in crimes. Moreover, Americans seeking a gun license would have to apply for a 5-year license after which would require renewal. Booker has also proposed the idea of providing newborns with savings accounts that would accumulate until they reached 18. He states that this plan would help settle the gap between the classes by offering lower-income households a nest-egg averaging at about $46,000. He also aims to make contraceptives employer-covered and repeal the punishment for an abortion outside of incest, rape, or for the woman's health.

7. Kirsten Gillibrand

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From New York, Kristin Gillibrand became a US Senator in 2009, becoming the youngest person in the Senate at the time. Her 2020 platform includes creating universal healthcare for all that would cover both mental and reproductive health in addition to it's regular standards. Her stance on Medicare For All also stands for reducing the price of prescription drugs as well as aiding in the process of overcoming addiction. Gillibrand also aims to introduce postal banking which would allow those without checking accounts have the opportunity to take out small loans through their local post office. Moreover, she believes in not only the legalization of both medical and recreation marijuana, but in erasing all past convictions from it. Kristin Gillibrand stands with strengthening the middle class by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, creating paid medical and parental leave for all Americans, and fighting for the right to form unions and protect worker's rights.

8. Amy Klobuchar

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Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer and politician who currently serves as a US Senator from Minnesota. Klobuchar's campaign fights for providing every household in America with high-speed internet by the year 2020 along with aiding farmers by increasing their access to loan programs as well as raising farm bankruptcy debt levels. Moreover, she hopes to better the education system by increasing teacher pay and putting more money towards public schools. As well as increasing the federal Pell Grant and tuition-free one to two year community and technical colleges. Amy Klobucher believes in re-instated the DREAM Act to grant citizenship for foreigners who immigrated to America as minors. She supports immigration reform as well as ending the cruel separation and treatment of families on the lines of the border and creating a refined pathway to gain citizenship.

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