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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Apr 24, 2014
Headline for World Words: 5 Pieces of Slam Poetry Popular Today
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World Words: 5 Pieces of Slam Poetry Popular Today

From the funny to the dead serious, this poetry will hit you like a ton of bricks. These words are not meant to sit on paper in a book somewhere. They are meant to be said with fury and told like a story.

Samuel L. Jackson

This happened. Yes it did. If there’s anyone I would want to dive into the “Boy Meets World” of slam poetry, it’s of course, Samuel L. Jackson. Somehow he reads the entire 90s teen show in almost 4 minutes. The Mr. Feenie character is the star of this poem. He gives him the props he deserves as Cory’s rock throughout the story. It’s perfect.

What Guys Look for in Girls by Savannah Brown

This piece of slam poetry has well over a million views on YouTube. It resonated with people everywhere while it sat on the walls of Facebook pages across North America. My friend used it as part of her school presentation on identity and the body. While weaving words together seamlessly, Savannah nails down the anxieties of our image driven society.

Instructions for a Bad Day-By Shane Koyczan

Shane is a famous Canadian slam poet. This poem is like a hand reaching out and catching you while you fall. It reminds us that bad things will happen but we can embrace it. The poem breathes with us as a realization that while it is rough we are still alive and things can change. It reads as if Shane is personally grabbing you by the shoulders, looking you in the eye, and telling you these words. The last sentence is the most powerful.

Shrinking Women by Lily Myers

This video has almost 4 million views on Youtube. Like the Savannah Brown poem, it has a similar impact. She tells a story of her childhood that is not unique to just her. She looks at patterns in our culture while remaining perfectly in rhythm. She unravels what shrinking and expanding actually means from different points of view.

Cuz He's Black by Javon Johnson

This starts out as a car ride between an uncle and a young nephew. We hear a child’s unrelenting questions that need answers and an uncle doing his best to be straight forward and honest. Javon then cracks open the realities of society with a hammer. His passion raises your heartbeat while you listen.