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The Commercialization of Poetry – Spoken Word Poetry

It is important to note that in the light of trying to do something, it is impossible to escape the trap of trying to be someone. At the end of the day, it is human nature to want to be recognized and if possible appreciated.

The word commercial in Word based art does not encompass only the art’s structure; it is in the presentation/packaging (whether in books or on a stage), and a marketing strategy will enable the artist/poet to pull in EFFORTS directed at attracting a profit. These EFFORTS need money. So has poetry been commercialized? Well has it been scribbled on trees or on stone tablets for all who pass by to read or listen to it for free? Kindly take note: - that nothing is free in this world there is always a need to be satisfied.

However, learning from experience, I will not advice anyone with weak finances and with no sponsorship to organize an Open Mic Event; because organizing such an event takes so much than one can imagine. All in all both the organizers and artists should understand that their relationship should be a win-win situation since both parties are making a brand.

The misunderstanding of poetry, spoken word Poetry and Rap Music (Rhythm and Poetry) occurs because the three have certain things in common that is; word flow, rhythm and rhyme. Spoken Word Poetry however, is one of the most uninhibited word based art forms. It virtually has no rules other than word flow and content. Despite its word-flow being poetic, its rules are not the same as poetry. Spoken Word Poetry is special because it is written to be spoken and every artist has to work even harder to acquire their own style.

However, like any other art, word artists have to polish their work by reading more to broaden their horizon, seeking help from professionals, attending writing and/or performance workshops, and interacting with others who share the common interest. Since every work falls under the attention of an audience all artists should be ready for criticism. However, a good artist will notice that criticism is not a limit to doing something, but an opportunity to correct and move beyond. In public relations it is publicity for the critic and the word artist.


© Namatsi Lukoye

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