Cynthia Viola Photography


Spoken Word

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Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance
— Carl Sandburg

In honor of my mom's 60th birthday I wanted to post one of my all time favorite spoken word pieces. Sarah Kay spoke at TED a few years ago and blew everyone away with not one but two incredible pieces sandwiched around a beautiful talk explaining the need for poetry and her journey toward teaching students how to unlock it's potential. My mom has always been a creative and while she was unable to use her gifts the past few years, she's recently opened up to them again and it makes me very happy.  

"Because getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air"

If I Should Have a Daughter, by Sarah Kay

There's something about the power of spoken word to move even the hardest of hearts. More than poetic verse on paper, it jumps off the page and the rhythm actually moves something inside you. Below are more of my favorite pieces, just for fun. :)

Taylor Mali is the very best kind of teacher. He highlights the world of imagination to an open mind and teaches a closed mind how to embrace all things new. He challenges you in a way that makes you want to be better. If you haven't read his book, you should :)

"I make parents see their children for who they are and who they can be"

What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali

Shane Koyzan understands both sides of the bullying coin and reaches into the soul of any person who's ever known it's weight. 

"'Stand up for yourself' They said, but that's hard to do when you don't know who you are"

To This Day by Shane Koyzan

I suppose I've always resonated with the downtrodden, broken people in the world. I've always avoided clicks and found myself closest to those who walk alone and don't make friends easily. And I've certainly known far too many victims of violence. Steve Connell's piece speaks to that...

"This perpetuates a culture where it's easy to confuse the link between the jokes and the bruise."

We are the Lions by Steve Connell

Cameron caught be by surprise recently as I stumbled across his work. Immersing myself heavily into the LGBTQ community lately I have a new sense of appreciation, respect and awe for their daily challenges and ability to overcome relentless shaming. 

"What if you could choose the shape your shadow casts into light"

"Break Up Letters" By Cameron Awkward-Rich

Do you have any favorite spoken word pieces to share? I'd love to watch them, feel free to post a link in the comments. :)