Some of the Best Slam Poets on YouTube (IMHO!)
Poetry slams are (quasi) organized events where artists of all shapes, sizes and skill levels gather to perform and to absorb words, emotions and messages in the form of spoken word.
Spoken word is such a great term for the art because, quite frankly, most slam poems can never be fully understood without a performance to convey the message the way the writer wants it heard.
A number of my spoken word pieces are on this site, but I'll be damned if most of them make full sense to my readers. Until I perform the work, the words are, well, just words.
The punch comes on stage - that's where slam poets can draw tears, laughter and identification.
As an artist I love watching other poets, both for pleasure and for new ideas.
I've seen them live many times. What an atmosphere!
Poetry slams are interactive - the audience becomes part of the performer's world and shows their appreciation through snapping fingers and the occasional yelp.
The judges reside right there in the audience, completely random members of the audience that, at the end of the day, can never truly decide who is 'better'.
There's no real winner at a poetry slam, even though someone takes home first place.
No slam poems are better than the next - they are just different in message, and they vary greatly in delivery.
At least that's my view.
The competition is fun, and so long as the message is conveyed, the job is done.
Here are some poets I absolutely love to watch on YouTube for those days when I can't get to a slam in person. Most of these are less heard of artists, so hopefully its something new for you!
Love this - great story, a bit of humor and a very personal, unique execution. Bravo to Lamar Jordan for "Waiting for Someone"!
I wish I knew the artists' name. This is a great blend of real issues with some laughs, a mix of light hearted but very real at the same time to create a fantastically executed slam poem.
OK, I'm sure you know this guy. Just wanted to post one from Def Poetry Jam so I can say - I MISS DEF POETRY JAM! Beau Sia is the man!
Andrea Gibson has done some great work. If you like this one, look up some more of her stuff - she knows how to take you there.
This is Omar Musa going hard Down Under (ay, mate!)
The younger generation is OFF THE HOOK. B. Yung delivers one of the best pieces I've ever heard. This was 2nd runner up in Knicks Poetry Slam 2009 and he is known for HBO's Brave New Voices.
Slam Poetry duos don't always work but this one KILLED IT!
Up for a little humor?
Really good metaphors and other poetic tools to give this poem Michael Lee's personality
Religion, politics and other things of that nature are really difficult to write poetry about. All I gotta say to Jefferson Bethke... NAILED IT!
I know what y'all are thinking - where's your poetry, Digital Poet?? You can check out The Letter Never Delivered for starters, and I've added a video for Intro. There are some more scattered throughout my site (happy digging!)...or you can check out the videos in these posts: