My Favorite Slam Poems

I love slam poetry. It is so incredibly powerful and it gives people a voice. I just wanted to share some of my favorites.

Somewhere in America (Brave New Voices 2014 by Los Angeles Team)

Image courtesy of Imgur

This slam poem is my all-time favorite. This poem is spoken by Belissa Escoloedo, Zariya Allen, and Rhiannon McGavin. It’s my favorite slam poem because it points out so many things wrong with the United States; from banned books to missing history to poverty, racism and rape. I highly recommend you to watch and listen to it if you haven’t already.

Favorite quote: “They built us brand new shopping malls so that we’ll forget where we’re really standing. On the bones of the Hispanics, on the bones of the slaves, on the bones of the Native Americans, on the bones of those who fought just to speak!”

 

Rape Joke (Brave New Voices 2014 by Los Angeles Team)

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Image courtesy of Tumblr

This is also a really great slam poem, performed by Belissa Escobedo and Rhiannon McGavin. This poem addresses everything wrong with making rape jokes. Jokes that poke at the trauma of others is disgusting and will never be funny, and if you think they are, then please reflect on your sense of humor and how damaging it is. Please take a listen to this powerful poem and see if you can learn from what these girls are telling you.

Favorite quote: “Humor helps trauma. We just want to know that you are laughing with us. We can joke about it because it is ours to joke about, similar to how our bruises are ours to poke at, and yours to keep away from.”

 

When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny (NPS 2015 by Blythe Bird)

Image courtesy of Vagabomb

This poem resonated with me because I was the fat girl that became skinny. I was anorexic from middle school to the first year of high school. My family constantly made fun of me, saying I was fat. I developed an eating disorder and when I was thin, they kept asking what I did so my older cousin could do the same. It made me so angry because I wasn’t going to tell them that I didn’t eat and was constantly hungry. I would recommend listening to Blythe Bird; she expresses the struggle very well.

Favorite quote: “If you develop an eating disorder when you are already thin to begin with, you go to the hospital. If you develop an eating disorder when you are not thin to begin with, you are a success story.”

 

Lost Voices  (CUPSI 2015 by Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley)

Image courtesy of YouTube

This one is a really good slam poem because of the way it is performed. Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley switch their voices, speaking for each other, showing how voices can become lost when you do not allow people to speak for themselves. People use their privilege to speak on behalf of people who struggle, even when they have no idea what it is like to go through such struggle, so they drown out the voices who are fighting to speak.

Favorite quote: “You speak to know pain you only fathom because we told you it was there. You know nothing of silence until someone who cannot know your pain tells you how to fix it.”

 

OCD (Rustbelt 2013 by Neil Hilborn)

Image courtesy of The Odyssey

Even though I cannot relate personally to this poem, it tells the story of a person with OCD falling in love and losing that love. The poem is very said and Neil Hilborn does an incredible job with it.

Favorite quote: “I can’t go out and find someone new because I always think of her. Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin. I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars. And she was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.”

Shrinking Women (CUPSI 2013 by Lily Myers)

Image courtesy of Tumblr

This last poem was the first slam poem I had watched and listened to, so it had to be on this list. Lily Meyers expresses how each woman in her family continues to shrink, not only physically but mentally, meaning the women become more and more submissive to the men in their lives.

Favorite quote: “I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking, making space for the entrance of men into their lives, not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.”

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite slam poems, and I hope you watched at least one of them. I really love poetry and I hope I was able to convince you to love it too.