Danez Smith’s “Dinosaurs in the Hood”

Photo by meddygarnet
Toy dinosaur photo by meddygarnet (CC BY 2.0)

One of the joys of the AWP conference is the unexpected session, the one that we find not because we circled it in our program schedule the night before in our hotel room but because we were in the right place at the right time, standing outside an open door, waiting for something else when the siren song of a poem or a story or a conversation pulls us into the room.

One of those moments for me was hearing Danez Smith perform his poem “Dinosaurs in the Hood.” His intensity and the rhythm of his words took over the packed room so that we were lifted by his energy to stand and applaud almost before he had delivered the final line.

I tried to describe the poem and the experience of hearing it to my husband, but my own words failed me. The best I can do is to share this video of Smith’s performing “Dinosaurs in the Hood” in February at a San Francisco poetry slam (read the poem here).

“If I Should Have a Daughter,” Spoken Word Performance by Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay
By Steve Jürvetson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

900th TED Talk: Sarah Kay’s “If I should have a daughter…”

From the TED website:

“Plenty of 14-year-old girls write poetry. But few hide under the bar of the famous Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village absorbing the talents of New York’s most exciting poets. Sarah Kay also had the guts to take its stage and hold her own against performers at least a decade her senior. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny, and powerful performances paid off.

Now 22, Kay is a successful spoken word poet and codirects Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression). Founded by Kay in 2004, Project V.O.I.C.E. encourages people, particularly teenagers, to use spoken word as a tool for understanding the world and self, and a medium for vital expression.” Read More

Sarah Kay’s intensity mesmerizes and enchants us in this lyrical, moving 900th TED Talk: