Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A spoken word trio of STRONG WOMEN

To close out National Poetry Month, I thought that I'd highlight three female slam/spoken word poets, StaceyAnn Chin, Alix, Olson, and Suheir Hammad. All three have been featured on Russell Simmon's HBO Def Poetry Jam and are notable for speaking truth to power and their extraordinary rhetorical and lyrical power.

For me, I think they remind me that poetry began as a spoken art form--it began in the tradition of Homer--the oral repetition of stories, recording the lives of heroic men and their exploits in love and war. These three women are the inheritors of Homer, taking the form to a new level, telling their own particular truths and stories, recording the heroic aspects of their own lives.

StaceyAnn Chin:

Alix Olson:

Suheri Hammad:


Genepool said...

I particularly enjoyed Ms. Chin. When people tell me they got a tattoo to "Express themselves" and that I should get one too, I always think... How about working on your vocabulary and expressing yourself through intelligent dialogue instead?

When I think that, (but never say it, why bother? They think a tribal tattoo should be telling me something...) I imagine something like what Ms. Chin was doing. I learned more about her in a couple of minutes than I ever could staring at a stupid tattoo for several hours. And I can even relate to some of it.

CVT said...

Appreciate the nod to the spoken-word poetry on this month (gotta' admit, I was waiting for that).

Greg said...

Yeah, Ms. Chin was definitely smokin'. That might just be my weakness for queer Jamaicans, though ;-) All fantastic!

Jennifer said...

Thanks everyone for leaving a comment. StaceyAnn Chin is AMAZING--I actually saw her perform live here at Southern U. for a Queer student conference.

But my favorite of this trio is actually Suheri Hammad--her piece is just so POIGNANT and POWERFUL.

BTW, Genepool, I think you SHOULD get a tattoo and it should say "You slay me!" maybe with a little sword on the end!

Cipher said...

i will be reviewing staceyann's memoir soon! watch for it! =)