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Spoken Word in Glass Half Full


I first discovered spoken word poetry when I was a teenager. I went to an arts high school (yep, I was one of those kids) to study creative writing, and we did a few spoken word units over the years. A lot of us starting going to local slams outside of school, and it’s been an on and off part of my life ever since. I’ve now performed spoken word in three different countries (on three different continents!) and I love how universal and powerful of an art form it is.


After writing the slam scene in The Bar Next Door, I knew spoken word and slams were going to feature heavily in Dylan and Renee’s story. I revisited a lot of my favourite spoken word piece during the writing of the first draft and always came away feeling inspired, so I thought it would be a great addition to release week to share some of those pieces here on the blog.


First up is Anis Mojgani’s ‘Come Closer.’ This piece captures the feeling of what it’s like to be at a poetry event, to be in a room of people who have stripped away all the boundaries of everyday life and are ready to let their guard down and truly share and feel with one another.


Shake the Dust’ is another of Mojgani’s pieces that has always stuck with me, and it’s something that I know would resonate with Dylan too.


Sarah Kay was a big inspiration to me while working on GHF as well. Her TED Talk/poem ‘A Bird Made of Birds’ captures the wonder of spoken word and its ability to string images together in a way that always fires up my urge to write.


Her piece ‘Table Games’ is both hilarious and heartbreaking and most certainly worth checking out. ‘When Love Arrives’, a piece she co-wrote with Phil Kaye, is possibly my favourite spoken word piece ever, and while it’s not totally relevant to GHF when it comes to subject matter, it’s a truly beautiful example of what spoken word can be and all that it can offer to its audience.


If you’ve never been to a poetry slam, I highly suggest you change that as soon as you can! There’s something about the energy of spoken word that can’t be found anywhere else, and I promise you’ll walk away with a new way of seeing the world every single time.


To read more about my take on spoken word, check out the slam scenes in Glass Half Full!

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