A spoken word artist CAN be a Poet. It depends. Is that spoken word artist as strong on paper as they are on the mic? If they are NOT... then, in my opinion... this artist is an ENTERTAINER. Free verse IS a form of poetry. Anyone who says that spoken word poets are NOT poets are full of foolery. Just because there is no iambic pantameter, no aba, or any of the other gobble-dee-gook... I DARE someone to call people such as Sonja Sanchez, Saul Williams, Jill Scott, Nikki Giovianni anything OTHER than poets. They do not always follow form. I tend to babble at times, so... in answer to your question... the only difference there can POSSIBLY be is whether or not this person claiming to BE a poet is strong on paper and actually IS a poet rather than an entertainer.