Rupi Kaur popularized a movement of poetry amongst young people across the globe. Her words have inspired and touched so many, creating an appetite for more poets such as Amanda Lovelace, r.h. sin, Courtney Peppernell, Gabbie Hann and Noor Unnahar. But even though these poets have mastered the ability to create beauty in less than a page, there is so much more that the world of poetry has to offer for those who have already gotten themselves addicted to this particular art form. If you're interested in diving deeper into this world of carefully woven words, then look no further than these amazing poets that I've complied to further introduce you to the beauty of spoken word poetry.
1. Olivia Gatwood
Olivia Gatwood is one of the most beautifully-spoken and intoxicating poets to have hit the spoken word scene. She recognizes the power of her words and uses them not as a weapon but rather as a bridge that carries people towards each other. She is also refreshingly honest about her life and everything that it entails: girlhood, feminism, queerness and coming of age in a world against all the prior.
2. Sabrina Benaim
Sabrina Benaim is most known for her poetry about depression and mental illness, but she takes time to acknowledge every part of her life: whether that is the sadness that carries her to the grocery store or the joy that the sadness is able to highlight for her. She will carry you with her on this journey, between the soul-crushing depressive episodes and the dreamy, star-filled nights that make it all feel worthwhile again.
3. Rudy Francisco
Rudy Francisco's words will leave you in awe every time you listen. Whether tackling the heavy topics of religion, racism, homophobia or lighter ones such as a crush or even true love, he shows his true self through his poetry: funny, awkward, faithful, sarcastic, gentle and always authentic.
4. Porsha Olayiwola
Porsha Olayiwola is a powerful storyteller on what it means to be a black woman in America. Her beautiful words will take you across history and make you wait in anticipation for what she has to say next. Authentic and unapologetic, she is truly the voice of a people.
5. Rachel Wiley
Rachel Wiley is a fat woman, and not only is that acceptable, it is powerful. She writes of her beauty and her strength, not wanting any woman to ever feel small. Her words will not only stick with you but they will glorify you.
6. Neil Hilborn
Neil Hilborn is arguably the most famous poet on this list, having gone viral several times with poems like "OCD." Mental illness is a huge part of his life: he is very honest about it and works to de-stigmatize life with it as well as coping with it. Even with all the lows, Hilborn still speaks of his many highs: love, compassion and unrelenting hope.
7. Melissa Lozada-Oliva
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is loud and proud. She holds her Latina heritage as a flag high above her head and rightfully acknowledges the struggles that come with it. Her poetry shows us her history, her vulnerability and the beauty that she pulls from all of it.
8. Blythe Baird
Blythe Baird is a sexual assault survivor, an eating disorder survivor and a fierce warrior on all levels. But even though she often wields fire in her words, she also creates a space to talk about the grueling yet reviving process of recovery. Baird's poems will heal you just as much as they have healed her.
9. Muna Abdulahi
Muna Abdulahi is a Somali, Muslim refugee. Her words are haunting and careful as she recognizes that she is still an outsider even though she has been placed in the spotlight. She will carry you through her hardships, her significance and her place inside a world that was not made for her.
Poetry is truly one of the most dynamic art forms out there and spoken word is a huge part of that. Although it does not include the character illustrations that Kaur and many other poets incorporate into their poems, it is evident from these poets that slam poetry is just as raw and emotional. It reaches the audience in a completely different way and that is the beauty of it.