Why Write Slam Poetry?

If you're thinking about writing and performing a slam poem—but you're feeling shy—here are a few reasons to find your courage and give it a go!


Toying with the idea of trying slam poetry? Slam poetry may feel more intimidating than other types of poetry, since slam poets don't just write words on a page—they also read their poems aloud in front of a live audience.

But don't let a little stage fright hold you back. There are tons of good reasons to get past your fear and go for it: check out this list to get inspired!

  1. To Share a Story. Maybe you want to write about a small, slice-of-life moment that's super entertaining or perhaps you want to delve deep into a life-changing moment or experience. Either way, you have meaningful stories inside you—and they deserve to be told.
  2. To Champion a Belief. Is there a particular issue that you feel strongly about? For instance, some people are passionately pro-choice, others believe in gay marriage, and some think that nobody should own guns. Slam poetry doesn't shy away from topics that are political or controversial—in fact, the best ones are provocative and touch a nerve by making a powerful argument.
  3. To Reduce Stress. If you're bothered by something that happened to you, keeping that feeling bottled up inside you won't do you any good. Anger and anxiety might trigger insomnia or headaches or cause you to yell at others or punch someone. Putting your emotions into words helps you make sense of your feelings, and releasing them through a dynamic performance will take some of that weight off your shoulders.
  4. To Gain Confidence. It's definitely scary to stand up in front of strangers, unleash your innermost thoughts, and then wait to be scored by a panel of judges. But the slam poetry community is supportive, not mean-spirited, so you're bound to hear applause, not "boo's." Once you finish a slam poetry performance, you'll feel empowered to try other new things.
  5. To Have Fun. Performers often experience a high or adrenaline rush when they're in the spotlight. When you feel the audience connecting with your words, you might be overcome with joy, excitement, and pride. And that’s an amazing combination!

Image via NYU Local

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