How to Write a Spoken Word Poem

Spoken word poetry is where the author speaks to others using narration. Many differences are present when comparing a spoken word poem to other types of poetry. Emotions and expressions can be used and spoken differently because more of an oral language is being used. It is designed for those poets or authors who want to express their opinions or thoughts on their subject through performance.

Select one topic. It can be about anything but should be about something you have a strong opinion.

Think about the subject that you have selected. Write the first few words that you think about. After a few minutes of this exercise, select one word that best explains the topic.

Write the poem. Use different punctuation in the poem so the reader and listener can come up with different meanings from the enunciation. These punctuations can include comas, brackets or dashes. Because it is more of a free-from type of poetry, there are no rules regarding the number of beats in spoken word poems.

Edit the poem once the writing process is complete. The length is up to your discretion. However, spoken word poems generally are longer than other types. Make any edits, changes or adjustments to the poem that are needed.

Watch other spoken word poets. Observe what they put into their performance and how they grab the attention of the audience. Look at what gestures they make when performing a poem and determine what will work best for your individual performance.

Perform the poem. The point of spoken word poetry is to perform it in front of others. Do not copy another person's style, however. It is important to find your own performance style to express yourself. Rehearse the poem several times before performing in front of a live audience so you feel more comfortable.


Memorize the poem to give a better performance.


Experiment with the volume throughout the poem or putting emphasis on words and syllables when reading aloud.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil