Praising and Raising our Work: On Mindshare and Memory
Riveting. Emo. Uplifting. Heartbreaking. Heart-opening. Poetry heals, helps and heartens all who encounter its majesty, power, artistry.
When a poem is passed from hand to hand, eye to eye, heart to heart, soul to soul, the bearer and the receiver are forever changed.
Writer Neil Hilborn’s touching performance in his slam poem “OCD” has recently gone viral, bringing to mind the many LGBTQIA poets and creatives in our midst with their own stories of love and life.
Slam poems and artistic poetry performance videos dovetail so nicely into the framework of social media, aka “Short Attention Span Theater.” All the while, the popularity of such creatives and their efforts debunk the myth that we’re all becoming bots, drones and distracted Internet denizens who can do nothing but lower the bar when it comes to being entertained. As we praise the art, we raise the art.
Queerly Speaking: Queerious Poems & Artistic Feats
There are many queer artists of late who’ve come to shine brightly, find their audiences and clock hundreds of thousands of views for sharing their feelings, style, art, writing and messages in video form—and thank goodness for them. With each new word experienced, we’re reminded to walk through this life: chin up, spirits high, feet facing forward.
Women of the World Poetry Slam winner Denice Frohman’s “Dear Straight People” video is one of the many gorgeous works capturing our imaginations. Garnering clicks, attention, ongoing #lolz and serious praise, Frohman’s hard-hitting truths hammer out insightful words of witticism and encourage laughs of recognition. Here are but a few gems encapsulated in a handful of minutes:
“Sexuality and gender…? Two different things. Combined in many different ways. If you mismatch your socks, you understand.”
“Dear Hip Hop: why are you fascinated with discovering gay rappers? Gay people rap. Just like gay people ride bikes and eat tofu.”
“Dear straight bullies, you’re right: we don’t have the same values. You kill everything that’s different. I preserve it.”
Words cascade like waterfalls. Prosaic glitter and poetic license, new beats and audio treats make their way towards all who have ears to hear, fingers to snap, hands to clap, and believing hearts to respond.
Visit the links below to watch these and so much more: it’s compelling, queer-powered poetry in motion.
“Dear Straight People” (WOWPS 2013)
“How to Be Alone”
“Pork Chop” from the To This Day Project
“Noah St. John Performs at Queeriosity 2010”
“Feminist or a Womanist”
The Jewelry Store
To watch all of these videos as a playlist, please click the link below.
Mindshare & Memory: Slam Poems & Creative Poetry Videos