It’s an age-old performance art, it was revived in the 1950s by the beat generation in America, and after a detour to Philadelphia, spoken poetry has finally reached IEGS.
Some weeks ago, on the 10th of February, IEGS held its first spoken poetry evening. With an open theme, twelve brave poets (including both students and teachers) entered the stage to perform their poems. Almost a month later, on the 10th of March, the second spoken poetry evening took place, this time with the theme “Heaven.” The theme was open for interpretation, with students performing both written and improvised work.
Sauda Luzze (NS3B) was the one who initiated the events, and with help and promotion from Mr. Frato, she created the Spoken Poetry of IEGS evenings.
Both Luzze and Mr. Frato had experienced spoken word poetry whilst in Philadelphia. Luzze proposed the idea of bringing spoken word poetry into the school to Mr. Frato, who thought it was a good idea. “I felt really inspired by the whole culture idea, so when I came back to Sweden I started with spoken poetry [...] I wanted the whole idea that you could explain and express your own character through words, like the people did in America,” said Luzze.
In the mid-80s, Chicago-based poet Marc Smith started the first so-called poetry slam -- spoken word competitions where poets battled against each other. This type of spoken poetry event has grown incredibly popular over the years, with the American competition National Poetry Slam celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. But despite this popular format, Mr. Frato was insistent that the IEGS spoken poetry evenings would be free of competitive elements.
“I don’t believe that literature is a competitive sport, or poetry is a competitive sport. I believe that every poet competes against themselves and I want to have an atmosphere of sharing and collegiality,” Mr. Frato said.
The next spoken poetry evening will take place on April 7th, and the collective theme for this event will be “Beauty.”
Want to perform on the next spoken poetry evening? Contact Sauda Luzze (NS3B)!
[Authored by Anna Zetterlund, Johanna Kauppi & Ina Låftman of SP3A]