Getting the Most Out of Slam Poetry

If you prefer to listen to books on tape rather than reading words off of a page, than a dose of slam poetry would be right up your alley. But you may be thinking to yourself, “Poetry was so boring in school.” Slam poetry isn’t the poetry Mrs. Davidson read to you in your high school English class. Slam poetry is for the thick of skin and not for the faint of heart.

When you plan to attend a poetry slam, be prepared to open your mind if you want to enjoy it. Occasionally, some may find an author’s artistic expression offensive. Prepare yourself to be taken outside of your comfort zone. Slam poetry typically explores the deep and dark experiences of the writer, so it’s generally easier for the speaker to express this type of poetry in voice.

Delivery is an important part of a poetry slam, simply standing in place and reciting a poem isn’t what you should expect. Authors write slam poetry to be heard and many poems flow like the lyrics from a hip hop song. For effective delivery, speakers will us unconventional angles in order to engage the audience so they can truly experience the emotion of the poem.

Just as a child uses gestures and body language to get their point across, a poet will be animated while spitting their slam poetry. Authors also tend to change voices or perspectives mid-stanza, creating different moods and situations. Some slam poetry may make you feel as if you’re suffering from multiple personality disorder.

A poetry slam can be quite a trip, but a trip that’s fun and engaging. A good poetry slam could chew you up and spit you out. But it’s definitely a trip you will never forget.