Rhythm and Rhyme, Sans Stuffiness

2/25/2008 10:17:42 AM

Tags: Performance poetry, poetry slams, Scott Woods, World Literature Today

Slam Poet.“Poetry slams are a device, a trick to convince people that poetry is cooler than they’ve been led to believe by wearisome English classes and dusty anthologies,” writes Scott Woods in World Literature Today. “By dressing up poetry in the raiment of a fight or contest, it appeals to the modern taste for sensationalism in art without—when done right—delving into mere caricature or entertainment." This is one reason slam poetry has become increasingly popular since its creation in Chicago 21 years ago.

Woods' essay is part of a larger feature section on performance poetry in the Jan.-Feb. 2008 issue of World Literature Today (some content available online). Go check it out. Performance poetry is a “vital and longstanding literary form that is often ignored or given only limited coverage in most literary magazines and journals,” explains editor-in-chief David Draper Clark in his editor's note.

Sarah Pumroy

Image by Soon Van, licensed under Creative Commons.

Related Content

When Taxes Get Hairy

In "Hair Tax," a piece of short fiction, Yoko Tawada considers a theoretical tax reform and carries ...

Found in Translation

Much of the world’s best writing is simply unavailable to most people: If you don’t speak every lang...

Poems from the Fishouse and the Chicken Coop

Sometimes great writing is absorbed best through the ears, not the eyes, as bedtime stories and poet...

Poetry: A ‘Ferocious Contrast to the Clamor’

These days, poets can’t honestly argue "Why Poetry Pays Well," but they can truthfully defend the mo...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!