In recent years, slam poetry — spoken word poetry that utilizes both language and rhythm — has become increasingly popular. While slam poetry is sometimes used to convey general feelings and experiences, it is also used to express opinions about important issues. Because of this creative flexibility slam poetry provides, it allows for an artistic and informative platform that contributes a diverse pool of powerful viewpoints to society. Here are some of my favorites:
“Shrinking Women” — Lily Myers
“Shrinking Women” is a powerful slam poem about the double standard of women growing up with the idea and expectation that they must be meek and accommodating, both mentally and physically, while men are taught to be confident and assertive. This is perhaps my favorite slam poem — it has given me chills each of the many times I have watched it.
“‘Cuz He’s Black” — Javon
“‘Cuz He’s Black” reveals the perspective of a minority in America — black boys. The poem speaks up about the fear and light-treading black boys are forced to go through on a daily basis. Johnson sheds light on the fact that institutionalized racism in America has resulted in the loss of innocent life, injustice in court, and an overall inequality that opposes everything that the U.S. is supposed to stand for.
“Come Closer” — Anis Mojgani
An optimistic and nostalgic poem, “Come Closer” touches upon the innocence and beauty of life, how we are all unique but still alike, and how every person on this earth is worth an infinite amount. Mojgani utilizes words, rhyme, and rhythm like no other in a poem that is guaranteed to open your eyes to the raw beauty of the world.
“Sons” — Terisa Siagatonu & Rudy Francisco
“Sons” is a passionate duet poem about the injustice of rape culture, but also about how boys are often neglected and misdirected when they are growing up, and how no one is stopping to teach them otherwise; “broken” boys are just being sent to jail, which will only “break them harder.”