The Jakarta Post
Spoken word is a vocal art form that lures audiences in and makes them reflect on aspects of their lives as they are distracted from the world outside. (Shutterstock/-)
Spoken word is a vocal art form that weaves together the intricacies of intonation, voice modulation, audience engagement and, of course, bloody good poetry. It’s a type of communication that lures your heart in and makes you reflect on aspects of your own life as you’re distracted from the world outside.
Here are five spoken word poets who are guaranteed to make you jittery.
Sarah Kay’s spoken word poems invoke real feelings in her audiences. There’s something in the way she moves her arms or the time she takes to make every word sway from her tongue that makes your ears want more. Her themes are focused on unconventional ideas of love, coming of age, learning and life experiences. Her most popular poem, “If I Should Have a Daughter”, was featured on TED and will fire an arrow into the heart of every mother.
Phil Kaye’s poetry makes you laugh and cry at the same time. His piece “Repetition” will stab listeners in the soul with an icicle. Kaye, who is not related to Sarah Kay, performed alongside her for Project VOICE. The two performed at the Goethe Institute in Jakarta on Jan. 16, causing more than just a few sobs.
(Read also: New voice in Indonesian poetry)
Kevin Kantor has the most enthralling voice. His timing, volume, expressions and even his content make it so that you can’t miss a word. In his poem “A Letter From Cancer”, the malevolence in his tone genuinely makes him seem insane. It’s an idiosyncratic approach to the terror of the disease, and leaves viewers in deep and tragic thought, especially if they or anyone they know has been affected by cancer. Additional themes that Kantor focuses on are rape and sexuality.
Olivia Gatwood is a force from another dimension. Her seemingly charming appearance contrasts beautifully with her satire-laced content. Her unique voice and quick pace make you question everything you ever thought was normal. Her poems are focused on feminism and social issues.
Roche’s technique of alternating between complete and utter emotional vulnerability and a matter-of-fact attitude slams you in the face. His quietness, humanness and refrains conjure up empathy in every viewer. This pairs especially well with his themes, including LGBTQ issues, parental problems and mental health. His topics fit well with the principal problems faced by youth, which gives him a competitive edge when it comes to poetry slams. (jam/kes)
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