An Exploration of Spoken Word Poetry, its Communities and Digital Media
Year of enrolment: 2019
This study takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the formation and evolution of spoken word poetry communities, focusing on the influence of digital media and the role of gender, race and ethnicity. Drawing on insights and literature from media and communications, performance and English studies, the project examines the experience and relationships of participants in spoken word poetry communities and the role digital media plays in helping develop and sustain those communities. Using London as a research site, this study will conduct ethnography of live events, internet ethnography and semi-structured interviews with spoken word poets, event organisers and audience members. This project makes an original contribution by filling current knowledge gaps on the use and influence of digital media in spoken word communities.
Previously, there has been research on the evolution of spoken word poetry, how the art form has been used for political expression, the experience of spoken word events and the representation of identities through spoken word, however the role of digital media in this art form as well as the diversity of gender, race and ethnicity within spoken word communities is under-researched and is worthy of further investigation. This research is timely because spoken word poetry is growing in popularity and the digital world continues to play an influential role in the art form. By filling these knowledge gaps this research will shed light on the relationship between digital media and spoken word poetry communities, as well as drawing attention to the question of inclusivity with respect to the gender, race and ethnicity of its stakeholders.