The Importance and Evolution of Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word is a performance art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play. It can encompass or contain elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, and jazz, rock, blues, and folk music. For award-winning poet Marc Nair, spoken word sits in an interesting space between monologues, stand-up comedy, and poetry. While standard poetry is very formal in structure, spoken word breaks away a bit and is known as the "wild child" of poetry, he says. Performance poetry and poetry slams started in Chicago...
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