Performance Poetry and Slams: Background information when reading The Lost for Words Bookshop

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The Lost for Words Bookshop

by Stephanie Butland

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland X
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
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  • Published:
    Jun 2018, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan

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Performance Poetry and Slams

This article relates to The Lost for Words Bookshop

Poetry Slam LogoEarly in the novel, The Lost For Words Bookshop, the main character attends a weekly poetry competition night. This made me immediately think of "poetry slams" and wonder about their origins. I easily found connections to ancient traditions dating back to times of low literacy that existed long before the age of the printing press. Obviously, the great Greek and Roman traditions of theater also included performing poetry and many of Shakespeare's plays are essentially epic poems, written in iambic pentameter. These early instances of reciting poetry in a formal setting has lasted to this day, with poets reading their works at public events.

Regarding open mic evenings and performing poetry (as opposed to just reciting it), I had no idea how recent an advent this was. First, I found a trend in the 1970s in the USA called "performance poetry." There are two types: poems are written (and memorized) prior to the performances, and impromptu performance poetry where the poets ...

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