Spoken word by definition is any kind of literary work presented orally. Combining the power of literary arts and the elegance of performing arts, challenging a storyteller in every aspect. This genre of storytelling is closely associated with the ability of a person as a writer and speaker who can accurately express their feelings. Spoken word has also become a medium of protest, representing all kinds of issues including, gender inequality, LGBTQ rights, racism, and many more, with poets hitting open mics in international stages to local cafes. As its reach is increasing day by day. let’s get into the details of spoken word. (the spoken word can also include monologue, rap, hip-hop, folk music, jazz, etc. In this article we will be concentrating on spoken word poetry and spoken stories)
Writing a spoken word is different, as the audience is not reading but watching the performance. The first and foremost thing to note while writing spoken word poetry is that you will be reading it out loud. Usage of important poetic tools like repetition, rhyme scheme, etc. can help to bring rhythm in poems, while in stories it can be strong sensory details, catchy dialogues, etc. All the other elements that make up a good poem or story imply for spoken word as well, which includes editing, revising, research, etc.
Spoken word doesn’t end with writing, performance is what makes it difficult but marvellous. The 2 key things to notice while performing is the voice and facial expressions. It is very important to modulate your facial expressions and sound following the tone of the poem. If the poem or story is to be released in the audio format then it becomes more difficult as the whole weight of the performance rests on voice alone. Voice modulation and pitching play an important part in such a situation. Practise is one way through which you can improve your performance. Watching experienced spoken word artist can elevate your performance. Along with practise, it’s important to hit open mics even if it's in your local coffee shop. This has two benefits, one, getting experienced in the art, two, connecting with other spoken word artists who can help you by being good critics.
Passion is inevitable to any form of writing, it is more crucial in spoken word as it is evident as you perform your poem, you must convert ideas that resonate with you to make a memorable performance.
This article was written by Irin Anna Cherian.