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The best of spoken word poetry by women of colour

05 Jan 2016

Spoken word and slam poetry really seems to be shining in the WoC community.

It’s an incredibly well-suited outlet for feminist and racial issues, a positive way to conduct anger, let it roar and yet be understood coherently. Here’s ten of the best poets we at gal-dem currently have on our radar. From the gentleness of Warsan Shire’s For women who are difficult to love to the depth of Eno Mfon’s Check the label, these are some pretty talented gals. Suggest your favourites in the comments below.


Yesika Salgado – How not to make love to a fat girl. “Turning yourself over to another person is one of the greatest acts of surrender I’ve yet to know, but boys make it difficult to be a fat girl graceful in her own body.”


Cecile Emeke – Fake Deep. “Because females are disposable during your never-ending period of maturity I guess. Now his tools of manipulation have evolved, so new problems are met. Same as the transition from slavery to the prison complex.”


Eno Mfon – Check the label. “Strip back layers of dead skin, black skin, melanin.”


Denice Frohman – Accents. “Her tongue can’t lay itself down flat enough for the English language, it got too much hip, too much bone.”


Rachel Rostad – To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang. “I know, you thought you were being tolerant. Between me, Dean and the Indian twins, Hogwarts has like, five brown people!”


Vanessa Kisuule – Take up space. “We are walking pillars of defiance in every exhale of breath and assured step of foot towards threshold. Run your tongue along the swords of the women who fought before us.”


Hibaq Osman – A Silence You Carry. “I swear I do not remember breathing that night. Ameen is our brother. He was killed on the Somalia-Ethiopia border in 2006.”


Tonya Ingram – Thirteen. “13 is the number of men, you’ve allowed to wound your human with their horns. It is fornication disguised as forgiveness, which means you swallowed 13 men in two months, when you mistook night for lonely.”


Amina Iro and Hannah Halpern – A Muslim and a Jewish girl. “We’re both birthed from resilience, but raised by assumption.”


Warsan Shire – For women who are difficult to love. “You try to change, don’t you? Try to be prettier, softer, less volatile, less awake. You are terrifying, strange and beautiful. Something that not everyone knows how to love.”