Speaking Words Off The Page

I’m a fan of the spoken word; my earliest memories being listening to crackly recordings of Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” and playing my little “Jungle Book” record over and over and over again. At the age of five, I could recite all of the abridged audio version of Mowgli’s adventures by heart.

But “spoken word” in a more up-to-date setting is a ‘live’ performance, which includes poetry.

I’m a fan of this, too.

Spoken Word as an art form is an expression that makes thoughts and letters jump out from their pages. A performance either delights or disgusts its audience, but there’s no denying that it engages.

I’ve attended several spoken word events in Singapore and am in awe of the creative energies and intelligent thought that bubble to the surface. Through their poetry, performers tell stories, relate personal experiences and give commentary on what they see happening around them. For me, it opens my mind to perspectives alternative to my own. Some of these gel with me, others grate; but they all deserve an opportunity to be shared and heard.

One of the upcoming spoken word performances that I’m looking forward to is “She Walks Like A Free Country”. It’s an all-female collaborative effort by seven poets from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I anticipate strong feminist messages, but certainly nothing of the aggressive bra-burning variety. Having chatted with one of the poets involved, Nabilah Husna, I also anticipate – nay, expect – wit, humour and empathy. This is one of the opening performances for Lit Up 2013 on Friday 19 July. The ladies come on at 8.30pm at the Aliwal Arts Centre. Read my preview here.

If you haven’t allowed yourself the privilege of a ‘live’ spoken word performance in Singapore, you have options to choose from:

Poetry Slam organised by Word Forward (every last Thursday of the month):

Speakeasy series at Artistry: