Start With the Basics
Spoken word poetry is a unique type of modern poetry that uses a combination of the spoken word and the writer’s love for language to convey powerful feelings and ideas. It is a form of expression that uses language in an innovative and creative way to produce a sense of beauty and power. Spoken word poetry is meant to be experienced in a live performance setting, as the performer is able to use body language, voice intonation, and pauses to great effect. The beauty of spoken word poetry is that anyone can write it and deliver it – no matter their age or background. It encourages creativity, self-expression, and understanding.
To get started, it’s important to understand how to write spoken word poetry. Unlike other forms of poetry, there is no specific format for spoken word poetry. It is instead about how the spoken word poet conveys emotion and brings the audience into their story. Here are some tips for writing spoken word poetry.
Know Your Audience
Knowing who your audience is before you start writing is always important. Are you writing for a particular event or performance? Are there any particular topics that are expected to be addressed? Knowing your audience can help you determine what kind of content to include in your poem and also can help give you an idea of the type of language to use. For example, if you are performing your spoken word poem in a family-friendly environment, you may want to avoid explicit language.
Choose a Topic of Interest
Choosing a topic can be the most difficult step in writing spoken word poetry. It should be something that interests you and that you are passionate about. While it is important to speak from the heart, you may want to consider the audience, as topics that are more relatable will often be more engaging. Choosing a topic that makes you angry and passionate is also a great idea, as emotion can be very powerful when conveyed through the spoken word.
Create the Narrative
Once you know who the audience is and what the topic is, it is time to create the narrative of your spoken word poem. This is where you are going to bring your audience into your story and convey your message. The narrative should focus on a central idea and should adhere to a cause and effect structure. This will give your spoken word poem a sense of clarity and allow your audience to see the journey of your story.
Create Powerful Rhyme
Spoken word poetry is often known for its powerful rhymes. Creating a rhyme scheme can help your spoken word poem flow better and can even make it easier to remember. Make sure to use the rhythmic structure of language to your advantage and emphasize certain words or themes to create emphasis.
Elevate Your Spoken Word Poem
When performing your spoken word poem, it is important to make sure that your poem feels as powerful as possible. Use your body language, vary your tone and speed, and use pauses to create more emotion. You want to convey the same emotion that you put into writing it and make sure that your audience can feel what you are trying to say.
Rehearse the Piece
It is always important to rehearse your spoken word poem before you perform it. Making sure that you are comfortable with your words and that you know the poem well will help you better connect with the audience and convey your message. You can even ask a friend to listen and give you feedback before you perform your spoken word poem.
Use Simple Grammar Structures
Grammar and sentence structure is important when writing spoken word poetry. While you don’t need to write in a way that strictly follows the rules of English, it is important to make sure that your poem is still clear and easy to understand. Keep the grammar structures relatively simple, so that the audience can keep up with the poem’s narrative.
Write What You Know and Believe
Spoken word poetry is all about being candid and honest with your story. Write what is important to you and what you believe in—don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Letting your true feelings come through in your poem is an essential key to making sure that your spoken word poem is powerful and effective.
Find Your Voice and Style
Every spoken word poet has their own unique voice. Don’t be afraid to explore and find a style that works for you. This could mean experimenting with different voices, different topics, and different rhyme schemes. Finding your voice and style will help you create a powerful and evocative spoken word poem.
My Own Voice
My own experience as a spoken word poet has allowed me to truly understand the power of this art form. It has allowed me to express my feelings and experiences in ways that I could never have imagined. Seeing people’s reactions to my words has been an incredible experience and I’ve gained more confidence in myself as a result. Writing spoken word poetry is an incredible way to connect with people and to share your story in an engaging and powerful way.
Learn From Others
Learning from others is an important part of becoming a successful spoken word poet. You can attend spoken word events, listen to recordings of other poets, and even take classes to learn the basics of spoken word poetry. Learning from experienced poets allows people to find their own style, understand the power of the spoken word, and gain the confidence to perform their own spoken word poems.
Developing a Performance
Once your spoken word poem is written, it is time to develop it into a performance. This will include rehearsing, finding the right rhythms and sounds, creating a stage presence, working with a band or guitarist, and providing an appropriate visual backdrop. All of these elements will come together to make sure that the audience is moved and engaged by the performance.
Using Staging Techniques
The use of staging techniques is another important part of putting on a successful spoken word performance. Stage blocking is one of the most important tools for effectively conveying a spoken word story. Stage blocking involves positioning oneself on the stage in a way that reinforces the story—for example, having the poet move closer to the audience when the story is getting more intense. This will help keep the audience engaged and will help create a more powerful and entertaining performance.
Reading and Networking
Finally, reading and networking is just as important as anything else when it comes to becoming a successful spoken word poet. Reading the work of others helps you better understand the art form and learn from the experience of other poets. Networking is also a great way to find events to perform at and make connections with other spoken word poets.