13. Jared Singer – “A Letter to Sarah”
Youth suicide has been a topic of particular urgency over the past few years. Jared Singer tells us what it is like to be the one who is left behind:
14. Taylor Mali – “What Teachers Make”
I could not create this list without recognizing that spoken verse poetry started decades ago, and that slam and performance poetry is not by any means a new thing. As such, I encourage you to to look back at the records on YouTube of so many poets (especially those of color) who deliver poems of both historical worth and of timeless value.
However, when thinking of one poem I could choose from past generations I opted for the following albeit relatively recent performance for its masterful deconstructing of the infuriatingly asinine quip “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” because, with political attacks on teachers seemingly in fashion, this still strongly resonates:
15. Sam Cook – “God in Code”
On the poets Rumi, Tupac, the religious figure Jesus Christ and the subject of whitewashing, this final performance in our list really needs no other introduction:
I am certain this list leaves out a great many who should have their work recognized, who deserve to have their videos watched and their messages heard, so please contribute your own favorites in the comments below, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed these performances as much as I have.
Image credit: Thinkstock.
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