Four Slam Poetry Performances to Watch This Week on YouTube

1. Catalina Ferro – “Anxiety Group”

Taking on the persona of a woman in an anxiety support group, Ferro offers a fresh perspective on paranoia. “You can’t be this afraid of losing everything if you don’t love everything first.” The truth behind her humorous performance might resound with chronic worriers as we move into midterm week.

(The Bowery Poetry Club in 2012 as part of the New York City Urbana Slam.)

2. Taylor Mali – “On What Teachers Make”

Thanks to this original piece, Mali is now a household name in the world of performance poetry. His powerful delivery and humor make this a video worth watching over and over again.

(The Bowery Poetry Club in 2005.)

3. Dylan Garity – “Rigged Game”

In the same vein as Mali’s performance, Garity offers a personal lens into teaching, tackling the polemic issue of bilingual education with sensitive and nuanced analogy. “I was handed a head start, a rule book in my own tongue. The winners of a rigged game should not get to write the rules.”

(2013 National Poetry Slam for Minneapolis SlamMN.)

4. Sarah Kay – “B”

Popularized by her TED Talk, Kay’s piece is a letter to her future daughter. She reminds us, in her typical descriptive style, to stop and “look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottomed boat.”

(TED Talk in March 2011)