Writer Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, has a moving and memorable TED talk on "Nurturing Creativity."
Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet, gave a TED talk in March titled "If I Should Have a Daughter....". In it, Kay "tells the story of her metamorphosis -- from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York's Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. -- and gives two breathtaking performances of 'B' and 'Hiroshima,'" as noted on the website.
Poets and writers may have a wide range of views on spoken word poetry, but it's a form that's both old and brand-new. In my creative writing classes, I show clips of today's best spoken word performers so my students can get a sense of the spectrum of poetry being presented today.
At the SMSU Marshall Festival 2010 last fall, writer and spoken word poet Ed Bok Lee gave an electrifying performance. Here's what's been written about Lee:
"If there was a Minnesota spoken word performer who embodied Rockstardom...it’s Ed Bok Lee. His performance sparked some of the unconscious verbal feedback that spoken word elicits from its audiences, the sort of sighs and shouts that would be heard throughout the evening."
-- MN Microphone
"A potent voice for young immigrants and their second- and third-generation peers, poet Ed Bok Lee’s...galloping imagination…describes what it's like to be part of a global generation."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
What do you think of spoken word poetry? Who are your favorite performance poets? As writers and poets who perform our work, what can we learn from the best spoken word poets?