Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Spoken Word



In the 1990s, the poetry scene in the United States saw an increased interest in spoken word poetry. This, however, was not the first emergence of spoken word. Spoken word, or poetry spoken aloud, was pioneered in the days of troubadours and storytellers who would recite their poetry aloud to gain recognition. It was not until the invention of the printing press that the emphasis on performance poetry shifted to publishing because of the possibility of increasing the works’ availability. Again, in the 1950s and 1960s, spoken word was revived. The Beats began using spoken word to express their anti-academic beliefs, and their dislike of societal norms. Then spoken word slipped under the mainstream radar again, until the 1990s.
The strong, aggressive and, frank style of poetry in the 1990s caused for another surfacing of spoken word in mainstream society. Unlike The Beats, this emergence of spoken word was not necessarily politically driven. This movement focused more on increasing diversity among its performers, reaching out inspiring amateur practitioners, and sending messages of positivity and tolerance. In short, the movement was about bringing poetry back to the people. Poets such as Maggie Estep, Reg E. Gaines, Henry Rollins, John S. Hall and Dana Bryant each gained acclaim as spoken word artist as the art form made it to the television screen. MTV took notice of this demand for spoken word entertainment in the mid 1990s. MTV created a television show “Spoken Word Unplugged” to showcase major talents of the movement, but the flame fizzled before a massive interest could take hold. Most of the performers of the generation have branched out into other fields, notably novel writing.
Having struggled to re-ignite this blog sites focus, trying to steer it toward a still floundering sub-genre, whilst retaining the art of collagist Michael Leigh and supremo poet Roger Steven's input, finally, still nascent in its workings, things are starting to blossom.
Dearie? No, a different gal completely, far more truculent and difficult to motivate.

With a host of 'named poets' on board (yes, they not only have the gift of words they have names too) such as Jennifer K Dick and David Caddy, we now have joining us others of a more experimental bent.
Coming soon the words of Anthony Donovan, he of Murmurists notoriety, as read by David 'my beards a small principality' Cunliffe, the shimmering elegance and modantique eloquence of Doriandra Smith, one half of Balkh but also Egle Oddo who, currently on third amend, is still beavering away.
The sutra is bright, the furniture is porridge. 

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