Performance poetry is "a form of poetry intended to be performed as a dramatic monologue or exchange, frequently involving extemporization". Basically, it's when a brave poet/ess performs their work in front of an eager live audience.
Most times, the poems performed are intensely personal and speak to a deep social issue or shared human experience. Their relatability makes them both impressionable and impactful.
While it's understandable that poetry may not be everyone's favorite outlet, there is always something for even the greatest of critics to appreciate- whether it be the words themselves or the emotion used to convey them.
The following list compiles ten of today's greatest performance poems and poets, from Neil Hilborn to Sabrina Benaim.
1.) Neil Hilborn- OCD
2.) Shane Hawley- Wile E. Coyote
3.)Rudy Francisco- Honest
4.) Sierra DeMulder- Mrs. Dahmer
5.) Aaron Samuels- How to Tell Your Story
6.) Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye- When Love Arrives
7.) Bianca Phipps- The Heartbreak Poem
8.) Guante- Small Talk
9.) Jesse Parent - To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter
10.) Sabrina Benaim - Explaining My Depression to My Mother
These, of course, are not the only performance poems that exist in the world. There are countless topics and dozens of other talented writers waiting to be discovered. Waiting to be heard.
Go find them. Explore. Find what strikes you, and find out for yourself what makes poetry so beautiful and powerful.