The Spoken Word Poems Currently Inspiring Me

Olivia Gatwood performing a spoken word poem

I’m always sharing the written poems that have recently inspired and influenced me, but for some reason, I’m stingy with the spoken word poems with the same impact (I’ve written only two posts about the topic here and here). Spoken word poems are extremely important in the variety of literature that excite me and prove to be ways of coping and healing through different life experiences. I love reading beautiful words on parchment, but there’s something special about hearing a poet speak their own art into existence in front of a crowded room. Not everyone who writes pieces of their own has the ability and courage to read their poems aloud, so I especially applaud the authors who do. When I’m writing, I often pause throughout the process and read what I’ve created aloud to hear how my language molds together and forms the images concocting in my memory. I like to imagine these authors do the same with their work. Most of my favorite new poets publish their work with Button Poetry, which gives authors of color and other diverse backgrounds a platform for their written and spoken truth. I’m incredibly inspired by spoken word poems and I can only hope to be brave enough to share my own writings on a stage one day (Although I read my poem in front of the crowd when I won an award for it last month!).

Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Olivia Gatwood

I Lose My Voice During Sex by Blythe Baird

Dear White America by Danez Smith

Healing by Nayo Jones

When the Shotgun Questions the Black Boy by Sonya Renee Taylor

No Lives Matter by Kofi Dadzie

Say No by Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood

My Father On Protests by Khoi the Poet