Slam poetry. While you may picture the stereotypical guy in a beret standing under a single spotlight and yelling at an audience who snaps approvingly, it is so far evolved from that. Slam poetry can be remarkably profound, sometimes even bringing you to tears or making you laugh harder than you thought possible. Whether you're a die hard slam fan or you just watch the videos that pop up on your Facebook time line, here are seven slam poets you need in your life now.
1. Harry Baker
Harry Baker brings a British charm and emotional depth to his poetry every time. 10/10 would recommend watching his Ted Talk as that contains some of his best work. "Scaffolding" is also a must read/watch.
2. Neil Hilborn
Neil Hilborn went viral on Youtube and Facebook for his poem "OCD". His poetry on mental illness is gritty and honest, and his book "Our Numbered Days" is a perfect travel read.
3. Sarah Kay
Sarah Kay's "If I Should Have a Daughter" poem featured in her Ted Talk is a favorite of many slam-poetry lovers. However, some of my favorites of hers involve collaborations with long-time friend, Phil Kaye (and as you'll find out in their origin story poem, no, they're not related). "When Love Arrives" is the duo's classic.
4. Shane Koyczan
"To This Day" by Shane Koyczan is an anti-bullying anthem that will send chills down your spine. "We are More" is another great one, a tribute to his home country of Canada.
5. Taylor Mali
Taylor Mali earned a spot on this list for his inspiring tributes to teachers everywhere, such as "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Worker". "The Impotence of Proofreading" is also one of my favorite poems of all time.
6. Big Poppa E
Big Poppa E does humor so well and with a heartwarming touch. He paints a picture of young love with "Crushworthy" and "13 Metaphors for Why We Should've Never Dated".
7. Eve Ensler
Eve Ensler is a feminist slam icon. "I am an Emotional Creature" will leave you feeling empowered. She's also published some awesome poetry books that you should definitely check out should you have the time.
If you listen to all of these awesome poets and still want more, check out Rudy Francisco, Sierra Demulder, and Andrea Gibson for some other classics. The channel "Button Poetry" on Youtube will also fill your life with poetic joy. Happy slamming!