Slams, Rants, Etc. Teachable Moments in Popular Poetry
Sometimes the basic elements of craft don't stick. Sometimes words like "metrics" and "prosody" turn students off. Sometimes the students just want to get to the poetry. To get past this barrier, writing teachers have to do three things: one, find a connection with each student through exciting, motivating exercises that employ "multiple intelligences"; two, add levels of meaning to the curriculum by employing several simultaneous educational objectives; and three, begin with concrete examples that clearly illustrate the principles at hand. Through carefully developed pedagogy and the demonstration of practical exercises, this workshop and this paper will show that popular poetry, and especially performance poetry, are tailor-made to meet these challenges.
Keywords: poetry, slam poetry, popular poetry, performance poetry, pedagogy, teaching, theory, exercises
Lecturer, Department of English, Iowa State University