Take the Mic: The Art of Performance Poetry, Slam, and the Spoken Word

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Sourcebooks, Inc., Apr 1, 2009 - Poetry - 320 pages
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Get on Stage and Perfect Your Performance

Have you ever enjoyed a slam or two and thought, "I could do this," but felt apprehensive staring at that empty mic—or worse, you climbed up on stage and struggled?

Let Marc Kelly Smith, the founder of Slam Poetry, teach you everything you need to be a confident performer, from writing a powerful poem, to stage techniques, to going on tour (if that's where your muse leads you).

Take the Mic is filled with insider tips, backstage advice, and tons of examples of slam poems that wake up an audience. With this book, you'll also be able to link to the PoetrySpeaks.com community to listen to samples, meet poets, and unearth inspirations for your next performance.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Performing with Power

Take the Mic is an essential guide for lifting your poetry from the page to the stage. Marc Kelly Smith (So What!), grand founder of the Slam movement, serves as you personal coach, showing you how to craft stage-worthy verse and deliver a poetry performance that shakes the rafters and sparks thunderous applause. In Take the Mic, you discover how to...

  • Pen poetry that's conducive to on-stage performance
  • Overcome stage fright
  • Practice powerful performance techniques
  • Rehearse like a pro
  • Shape a loose collection of poems into a killer set
  • Connect with your audience — heart and soul
  • Master the art of self-promotion
  • Schedule your own slam poetry tour
  • Transform your hobby into paying gigs
  • Act professional to establish a solid reputation in the Slam community

Take the Mic is packed with practical exercises you can do alone or in class to hone your skills and transform your body, mind, voice, verse, and spirit into an engaging stage presence.

You'll also find a brief history of slam, the rules and regulations that govern official slam competitions, and a list of PSI (Poetry Slam, Inc.) Certified Slams, so no matter where you are, you always have a place to Take the Mic!


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Take the Mic: The Art of Performance Poetry, Slam, and the Spoken Word

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Take the Mic
The Art of Performance Poetry, Slam, and the Spoken Word
Marc Kelly Smith
A book review.
This is something I thought I'd be good at.
Not that I think I have a voice. Because I don't.
Like everyone else I'm not happy with the sound of my own voice and to tell you the truth never enjoyed poetry.
So, I never pursued the art of public speaking and it lingered in the back of my mind until I came across this book at the library.
Take the Mic, The Art of Performance Poetry, Slam, and the Spoken Word.
I immediately thought of Shane Koyczan performing "We Are More" at the Vancouver Olympics, 2010,
check it out
Yes, Yes, This is me. I can do that.
I thought.
That's Surrey Library Guildford Branch and here was this book.
I picked it up and looked at the snazzy, beatnik, modern art design on the cover. Hmmm.
I've heard about beatniks, they wore black and sunglasses and snapped their fingers, instead of clapping. Real cool.
Should I, could I?
After reading through this—how-to—book.
I'm kind of glad, I didn't.
I don't think I'm cut out for it.
I don't know a shit's ass about poetry.
I sat for hours in front of a mirror.
Reading my scribble on a 4X6 card.
Practising. Not a poem but one of my rants.
I expected the money not to be very good,
But the abuse.
I don't think I could put up with even one heckler.
I should have kept up with my rants. Who know's where I'd be today.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Dog Brindle the Performance Poetry Slammer."
A standing ovation.
I don't think so...
I'd give it three stars. Might be exciting for a novice but honestly, not that interesting nor informative.
Full of trivial shit, like how to travel; bus, plane or automobile.
It bored the hell out of me. There has to be better books on the subject.
The book turned me off, completely. Poetry is just not me. Now ranting that's another thing.
I'm going back to the library.
Michael Estey


What You Think You Know May Not Be Slam
Getting into the Spirit of Slam
Slam Competition Rules Regulations and Other Formalities
Penning the Powerful Slam Poem
Confronting Stage Fright Overcoming the Fear
Slammin Fundamentals
Body Talk Shake Gesture and Move
Book Me Please
Getting the Word Out Publicizing Your Performance
Taking Your Show on the Road
OldSchool Advice Act Professional
Slammers Performance Poetry
Books on Poetics Performing
Slammin Websites
PSICertified Slams

Rehearse Rehearse Rehearse
Shaping a Performance and a Few More Skills
Where and How to Gig Around
About the Authors
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About the author (2009)

Marc Smith began the poetry slam over twenty years ago at the Green Mill in Chicago. He is the co-editor of The Spoken Word Revolution and The Spoken Word Revolution Redux. Joe Kraynak has written or co-written dozens of books ranging from computer basics to poetry.

Joe Kraynak has written or co-written dozens of books ranging from computer basics to poetry.

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