What is your experience with poetry slams/spoken word performances?
I have read some of my poetry at spoken word performances at coffee shops and a few bars here locally, Reno NV, and when I lived in Montana. I enjoy the performance aspect of poetry, I find that most poems are meant to be read aloud and a lot of the power comes from expressing dramatic pauses and being able to add drama to the mix. I have not performed in one recently, but I would recommend trying it if you enjoy poetry.
I read a piece at my grandmother's funeral called "When Alma's Grandchild" and I have done spoken word for several online radio show's. I have also posted my spoken word on several websites, working on long with various musicians. You can hear my work on soundcloud.com, facebook, reverbnation, youtube.com and OnStage.com mostly under the pen name Mandika. I've only been in one spoken word competition and for some reason I have never taken to the idea of "slam" although I have seen some televised and enjoyed them.So far, I have not made a "career" of performing spoken word for a live audience cause I'm plain chicken lol...but I'd like to overcome that and get into the experience a little more. I was a fan of Russell Simon's Def Poetry Jam because celebs like Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott performed and that's my story...thank you for asking Krystal -smile.
I had a friend at SUNY-Buffalo where I studied English who used to say that to be a truly great slam poet, you should be able to recite your poem out loud, to music, in a crowded room without wearing any clothes.
If you don't have the confidence to do that, you'll hardly find success as a slam poet.
SUNY-Buffalo had a vibrant poetry community and we had some great times reading and reciting poems (with clothes!). It's a great experience, something every writer must try at least once in his life.
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