Poetry Slam Hosted by RLK

I recently participated in a poetry slam that was hosted by RLK.  The slam had a topic of “positive body image.”  I recited a poem that was workshopped in class “to love (Marilyn)”.  There is something so incredibly empowering about reciting your own poetry in front of others.  I thought it was a great experience and I would really love some pointers for reciting original poetry.  Do you guys find it hard to show your poetry to others?  I sometimes am not comfortable showing my work to my parents but I don’t mind reciting it to a bunch of strangers.  How do you all feel about sharing your poetry with others?

3 Replies to “Poetry Slam Hosted by RLK”

  1. First of all, props to you for reading! That’s super cool, & I’m glad you had a positive experience. I used to have an extraordinary aversion to showing anybody any of my poetry; if you saw a poem I wrote, I was either very proud of it or you were very trusted. As time has gone on, it’s lessened purely from exposure. I remember the night before my first workshop back in creative writing, I didn’t sleep well because I was so nervous. Workshop this semester has cured me of most hesitancy to show my written work. Speaking it aloud is something I’m still less good with. I think it’s because of how active it is; if I hand out a poem, I don’t have to watch you read it or see you react. Reciting is so personal in that you see an entire congregation of reactions as you recite. That being said, I definitely agree that it can be super empowering, and I’ll have to think about doing it now. I would imagine it’s the same with spoken as with written: the more you share in that medium, the more comfortable you get.

  2. I think reading poetry to strangers vs. reading to family or friends is easier because strangers don’t know your life outside of the poem, and how much of your heart and soul you put into the poem. This may be truer for some poems, and less so for others. There’s also the thing that if you don’t get the most positive reaction from a crowd of strangers, then you don’t have to speak in depth to them about it the next day. To be honest, none of my family has heard any of my slam poems in their entirety. Part of this is because I talk about them in my poetry, and another part is that if they critique my work, it’ll hit a hundred times harder than if someone I don’t know as well gives me a friendly bit of aesthetic advice.

    I do love sharing my words, as you may have noticed, but it sure can be really hard sometimes. As for the bit you mentioned about performance pointers, there are things that go into performances that relate to breath, eye contact, pitch of tone, gestures, all that good stuff that any good singer or dancer understands and that I’m still learning myself. As a venue for practice and resources, you can always stop by Cricket’s poetry open mics. Poets’ Society is hosting its first one since the cafe reopened on Thursday at 7:00pm. We’ll be doing this the first Thursday of every month while school is in session. This goes for the whole class, too. Cricket’s has a nice, relaxed atmosphere, and is a great place for any kinds of poetry you have and want to share with some excellent individuals.

  3. I’m also curious, Arianna, how it felt to have a poem that uses visual markers – things on the page – as an oral/aural experience? I’ve long argued that there’s not a separation between “page” poets and “slam” poets, and it’d be fascinating to hear how that works for you.

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