Top 50 Spoken Word Poems

Top 50 Spoken Word Poems

The Poems You Need To Listen To RIGHT NOW!

Here are 50 spoken word/slam poems that might change your life, in no particular order. Check out these artists and the wonderful publishing groups that were so kind as to provide videos for these poets. Please give them a listen or a viewing because they can change lives!

50. "Dear Ursula" Melissa May-Dunn

Not only is Melissa an incredible woman, but she's also an incredible poet and her work is consistently brilliant. This poem is addressed to Ursula after Disney decided to make her skinny.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

49. "Dear Straight People" Denice Frohman

Denice Frohman is a member of Sister Outsider, which is a duet involving herself and Dominique Christina. Both of these poets will be at Mount Holyoke in February. Denice is forever comical, intense, and wonderful at whatever she does.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

48. "To The Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter" Jesse Parent

Jesse Parent is poet, father, comedian, host, and suave as anything. This poem combines all of these qualities and showcases him at his best. This is a poem that will leave you with a smile on your face.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

47. "OCD" Neil Hilborn

If there is a poem that could change your life entirely, this poem is it. If you've ever struggled with a mental illness, be prepared to cry and relate and be moved.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

46. "Explaining My Depression To My Mother" Sabrina Benaim

In this poem, Sabrina painstakingly explains what depression feels like, and its connection to anxiety. Sabrina performs with her whole heart.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

45. "21" Patrick Roche

This is a story of loss and hardship and growing of age. It is heartbreaking. It is relatable. It is perfection.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

44. "Shrinking Women" Lily Myers

Lily Myers tells a story about women in her family and the urge to shrink themselves down. This poem is encouraging and eye-opening about the treatment of women in society. Lily is a true feminist.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

43. "This Is Not a Poem" Anthony Anaxagorou

This poem is political, strong, and essential in its content. A British poet, Anthony gives voice to many of the issues plaguing our world today, from violence to racism to discrimination. This video is not a live performance, but a photo montage of the events and situations he speaks of in his writing.

(Video Credit: Anthony Anaxagorou)

42. "A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be" Ethan Smith

While this video shows images of what he is discussing, the experience of watching him perform this, put his whole body and soul into the performance, and make an entire audience teary-eyed was breath-taking. Here's a poet who understands world issues and is not afraid to confront them.42. "A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be" Ethan Smith

Ethan is phenomenal and this poem is mind-blowing in every sense of the word. This poem leaves you speechless and gasping for air.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

41. "Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them" Brenna Twohy

First, Brenna is a hero for writing this poem and performing this poem and being nerdy enough to even dream up this poem. Second, it's brilliant and feminist and lovely. Third, you need to listen to it RIGHT NOW.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

40. "Falling In Love with a Divorcee" Eirean Bradley

This poem is so beautiful and so well-written and so Eirean Bradley that it will change the way you look at love, at divorcees, and at marriage forever.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

39. "Wile E. Coyote" Shane Hawley

This is one heck of a funny poem, until you realize the entire poem is an extended metaphor and then you get hit in the face with how magnificent Shane is about telling you what you need to know. Shane Hawley has changed lives across the globe.

(Video Credit: Matt Peiken)

38. "Pretty" Katie Makkai

If you need a poem to help you with your daughter, this is the poem. If you need a poem to make you feel empowered and feminine, this is the poem. If you need a poem to make you feel crazy awesome all the time, this is the poem. If you need a poem, this is the poem.

(Video Credit: crzylbrlchick)

37. "Today Means Amen" Sierra DeMulder

Sierra and this poem are so beautiful and so important and so necessary. Also, her book, Today Means Amen, is coming out soon. Go support this beautiful, awe-inspiring, talented poet!

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

36. "Dear Future Lover" Tasha Receno

If you ever write a letter to your future lover, Tasha Receno is the person to write it for you. This future lover won't be ready for what will hit them.

(Video Credit: Vancouver Poetry Slam)

35. "To JK Rowling, From Cho Chang" Rachel Rostad

This poem puts a famous author in her place when it comes to racial identity. Rachel Rostad turns Cho Chang from the weak character Rowling created to this strong empowered woman that she could have been.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

34. "The Type" Sarah Kay

Originally written as a poem for her best friend, this poem speaks to a universal truth about women being categorized by men who like to "type-cast" them into various roles. Sarah Kay helps women everywhere break free of those molds and learn to love freely.

(Video Credit: Speak Easy NYC)

33. "The Hunger Games" Imani Cezanne

This is not about the movies or the books. This is about life and death, race and culture, and how to survive in a society that isn't on your side.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

32. "Give This Poem A 7" Denver Brave New Voices Team

This is a life-changing poem by 3 students who are sick of what slam asks of poets. They don't need to be coddled. They need to be inspired and driven. They are the future generation.

(Video Credit: John Garcia)

31. "Brown Boy. White House" Amir Safi

Growing up a minority, waiting for a world that accepts you for who you are, isn't easy. Amir describes his experience with this and leaves you wanting to know so much more.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

30. "I Sing My Body Electric, Especially When My Power Is Out" Andrea Gibson

Andrea sends chills down my spine when they perform this poem. Only a poet of this caliber can write poetry that touches every single person in the room. This poem is for anyone who is seeking understanding.

(Video Credit: statsie15)

29. "Love, Sweat, and Tears" Alysia Harris

Some of the best metaphors ever written are in this poem and the intimacy with which Alysia performs this piece leaves her vulnerable and open. That vulnerability is the magic that is her art.

(Video Credit: donnstaaa)

28. "Body Image" MiKo Berry

Body image issues are not solely feminine and MiKo Berry demonstrates what it feels like to face body image issues and overcome them one day at a time.

(Video Credit: Evidently Salford- Spoken Word Poetry)

27. "Instructions for a Body" Marty McConnell

Perhaps one of the best written poem ever, Marty instructs the audience to praise their bodies. She wants to praise the flaws, the imperfections and the beautiful spaces of the body. There is only one word to describe her performance: joy.

(Video Credit: Spoken Poetry TV)

26. "Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls with Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair" Jeanann Verlee

This is the best advice for adolescent girls. A poem for your teenage daughters or friends or siblings, it touches on every awkward moment or situation and addresses so many issues in the span of only a couple of minutes.

(Video Credit: Robotsonparade)

25. "Let's Take It Back" Regie Gibson

This is the definition of art. There is rhythm, soul, beat, and performance. Regie Gibson is the IDEAL poet to watch for a poem that gets into your body and stays there.

(Video Credit: WeAreCSW)

24. "To This Day" Shane Koyczan

Shane is, first and foremost, a storyteller. He tells the story of confusing pork chops with karate chops and always being the outcast because of his flaws. One of the best lines in the poem is, "If you don't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror."

(Video Credit: Shane Koyczan)

23. "How the Ghetto Loves Us Back" Roger Bonair-Agard

Roger is funny, poignant, and strong in this poem about the ghetto. It is culturally relevant, sensational, and enrapturing, from the track suit down to the nail polish.

(Video Credit: Urban Renewal Program)

22. "Skinhead" Patricia Smith

When discussing spoken word poetry, there is no discussion without Patricia Smith. Essentially seen as one of the founders and leaders in the spoken word/slam community, she is the prime example of how to perform a persona piece.

(Video Credit: Urban Renewal Program)

21. "Death From Below" Dan Sully & Tim Stafford

By far, the funniest poem of all time. You'll find yourself laughing about this poem days after listening to it. It is utterly brilliant.

(Video Credit: Brad Conover)

20. "Like Totally Whatever" Melissa Lozada-Oliva

A response poem to Taylor Mali's "Like Lily, Like Wilson," Melissa knows how to speak her mind and speak it well. She is not afraid to go head to head with one of the more popular poets in the slam community with this piece and use her voice to do it.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

19. "In A Too Small Kitchen" Sam Mercer

Do you like Hulk? Do you like breakfast? Good. Watch this poem. Sam Mercer makes the best Hulk.

(Video Credit: Granite State Poets)

18. "Escape Artist" Sage Francis

This verges on the more musical side of spoken word, but it is so well-written with some of the best images in any given poem or song. Even the puns are executed with style.

(Video Credit: Epitaph Records)

17. "Deodorant" Will Giles

This poem will make you think twice before buying deodorant. Will Giles is one poet who will take you on the ride of your life and leave you questioning everything you thought you knew by the end.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

16. "Rekia Boyd" Porsha O.

Porsha O. is an incredible poet. This poem may be one of her absolute best poems. It's current and necessary and so very relevant in today's culture.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

15. "Friend Zone" Dylan Garity

Dylan Garity refuses to give into the friend zone frame of mind. You can only hope more people listen to this poem and learn what nonsense the friend zone really is. This is the poem to share if you have a friend who just can't take a hint.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

14. "Questions for Fox News Regarding the Race Card" Crystal Valentine

Dear Fox News, you're all sorts of wrong. Also, what's a race card? Sincerely, Crystal. The best critique of Fox News performed ever.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

13. "For Colored Girls" Miss Haze

Was Missy Elliott part of your childhood? This poem will bring you back and make you nostalgic for the old days of good music and female confidence.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

12. "Like Like" Theresa Davis

Theresa Davis is 100% fantastic 100% of the time. This poem is no different. Find out what she like likes in this poem.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

11. "Not An Elegy for Mike Brown" Danez Smith

This is NOT an elegy for Mike Brown. This is a piece of heaven performed on earth. This is getting sick of the same discrimination happening again and again and again. This is a plea for change.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

10. "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny" Blythe Baird

This is about an eating disorder that was not recognized when it needed to be. This is what happens when fat girls get skinny and nobody thinks there is a problem.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

9. "The Colors We Ascribe" Emi Mahmoud

Emi Mahmoud was this year's champion of the Individual World Poetry Slam. Is there even a question of how good she is? This poem will leave you silent, contemplative, and conscious.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

8. "Black Rage" Janae Johnson

Janae is powerful, passionate, and concerned about what black rage means in a society that has turned its back on its citizens. This is her response and her call for social justice. This is her rage.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

7. "Meauli" Terisa Siagatonu

Terisa tells the story of her family, her heritage, and her legacy. She understands what it means to look for belonging in the gaps.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

6. "More Words Than We Deserve" Sally Jenkinson

Sally discusses love, language, and feminine desire in relation to a loved one who may not understand how to give the love that is deserved. This is for Valentine's Day and every other day.

(Video Credit: The Huffington Post UK)

5. "Meanwhile, In Post-Racist America" Raven McGill

Think we are actually in post-racist America? Think again. Raven McGill gives her description of what it is like in this fictional land of "post-racism."

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

4. "Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams" Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley knows intensity, knows how to wish horrible things like beige and oatmeal on the people that deserve it most, and knows self-confidence. This is for the ex that never knew how to respect and appreciate you.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

3. "Thighs" Desiree Dallagiacomo

Seriously, what is a thigh gap? According to Desiree, it doesn't even matter. It is not necessary. It is NOT the definition of pretty.

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

2. "Argument for the Low Budget Gay Movie" Cam Awkward-Rich

The setting is a field. Can Steven Spielberg work with that? Cam can. Any indie filmmakers available?

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

1. "A Genealogy" Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Hanif breaks hearts, but in a good way. This is a story about a culture and a genealogy. This is Hanif's legacy, his journey, and his belonging in a poem. What's yours?

(Video Credit: Button Poetry)

Cover Image Credit: Light Tone Studios

Popular Right Now

To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"


This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.


Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.


Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.


You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.


Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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