April 28 is Great Poetry Reading Day. This day is celebrated to honor great poetry and the incredible poets who contribute to the genre. From Maya Angelou to Shel Silverstein, and who could forget Robert Frost, poems put our desperate, uncertain, scrambled emotions into fluid, beauty phrases that touch others and help us to move forward.
Read Related: 15 Reasons Why Everyone Should Write Poetry
A poetic movement increasing in popularity is the poetry slam. While reading poetry aloud in front of others is nothing new, the theatricality and competition of our generation’s poetry slams is new and exciting and we think you should include it in your next party! The basics are: guests read their own poems aloud and audience members judge who proceeds to the next round until there’s a winner. It’s friendly, fun and beautiful, so think about it! Here are just 10 great reasons why you need to host a poetry slam:
1. To get your creative juices flowing. There are few things worse than standing around staring at one another at a social gathering. A poetry slam practically spoon feeds you conversation inspiration to not only use at that party but for days to come!
2. After a few cocktails, the competition can get pretty interesting. We’ve seen everything from crying to stripping on the poetry slam stage. Tossing back a few will also lower inhibitions for those who might be having a case of nerves about baring their soul in the form of poetic expression. We can’t blame them.
3. It’s a great ice-breaker. You will get to know your family, friends and total strangers in a new way in a poetry slam. From intimate secrets to emotional perspective, you’re guaranteed to learn something new and find new ground for conversation.
4. It’s a great way to discover your friends’ hidden talents. Everybody has one! Wait and see what comes out when your pals are in front of a crowd!
5. It gets everyone thinking outside the box. Pushing boundaries and experimenting with social norms is totally hip right now, poetry slams included. Why not have a prenatal poetry slam instead of playing those stupid games at the next baby shower you plan? Have some fun. Make up your own rules!
6. Everyone has an inner poet, what better way to let it out? Some would argue that not everyone can (or should) write poetry. The truth is, everyone has enough emotional and life experience to create a poem! The great thing about modern poetry is that there are very few rules around rhyming or rhythm, so go for it!
7. You might make some converts out of anti-poetry readers. Even among the most intelligent of folks, you’ll find someone (or many someones) who were burned by too much Walt Whitman memorization in high school. Exploring new poetry as well as diving into the emotional turmoil of your friends in a fun, party setting is a guaranteed way to rekindle the love for poetry. We promise.
8. A poetry slam is a bonding experience. That whole baring your soul thing? You’re gonna do it. And so are your friends. And you’re going to be closer than ever thanks to this one, awesome night.
9. It will help your friends discover their voices. For both men and women, finding a voice is critical to personal and professional fulfillment. All too often, we find ourselves living a life of conformity and adherence to policies and procedures. Learning to express ourselves authentically is a challenge but it’s one that can be worked on by uninhibited emotive expression, poetry included.
10. It’s a great way to bring poetry to the masses. Because the masses need it. Seriously.