Find Poets

We get asked often how and where we find poets. We hope this will be a resource for you in finding poets and poems to share with your students.

A perfect place to explore poets is the #TeachLivingPoets Digital Library



Created by Scott Bayer @Lyricalswordz & Melissa Alter Smith @MelAlterSmith

Also, check out the #TeachLivingPoets Twitter chat archive page.

If you click here, you will find a links to poems that poets love to teach. The list was originally curated on Twitter by poet Rosebud Ben-Oni.

Here’s a list of favorite spoken word and slam poems curated by Joe Paris @ParisBMS:


Title / Link



Sarah Kay

Hands (performance at Apollo)

Relationship with father

Def Poetry Jam

Sarah Kay

The Type

The type of woman you are — advice/inspiration/ empowerment

Button Poetry 

Sarah Kay

If I Should Have a Daughter

Anticipating raising a child / advice

TED Talk

Sarah Kay

Love Poem from the Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire

Extended metaphor / love poem

NYC Urbana Slam; Bowery Poetry Club

Sarah Kay

Useless Bay

Relationships / extended metaphor

Sheen Center for Thought and Culture

Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye

When Love Arrives

Love / misconceptions / understandings

Button Poetry

Rudy Francisco

My Honest Poem

Autobiographical/Self analysis

Button Poetry

Rudy Francisco


Stop complaining over trivial stuff

Jimmy Fallon Show

Rudy Francisco


Gun violence, toxic masculinity

Jimmy Fallon Show

Rudy Francisco

Adrenaline Rush

Police brutality / racism

Button Poetry

Phil Kaye


Effects of divorce on kid

Button Poetry

Phil Kaye

Before the Internet

Childhood nostalgia

Button Poetry

Phil Kaye


Politics / race relations

Button Poetry

Clint Smith

How to Raise a Black Son in America

Racial hatred / fear for the ones you love

TED Talk

Jose Olivarez

Ode to the First White Girl I Loved

Being isolated for being Mexican


Jose Olivarez

You Get Fat When You Fall In Love

Love poem

The Firehouse Space, Brooklyn NY

Idris Goodwin

Say My Name

Names / microaggressions

BreakBeat Spoken Word

Sy Stokes

The Black Bruins

Racial inequality on campus

UCLA / personal video

Sekou “Tha Misfit” Andrews

When I Grow Up

Aspirations / dreams

Stage performance

Melissa, Zaria, Rhiannon

Somewhere in America

Social commentary on America / school

Queen Latifah Show / Get Lit

Sabrina Benaim

Explaining My Depression to My Mom


National Poetry Slam 2014

Sabrina Benaim

Unrequited Love Poem in Nine Acts

Love / relationships

Button Poetry

Prince EA

I’m Not Black, You’re Not White


Personal video

Prince EA

Can We Autocorrect Society?

Overuse and reliance on technology

Personal video

Sierra DeMulder

Today Means Amen

Inspirational / anti depression

Button Poetry

Suli Breaks


What our friends say about us

Personal video

Suli Breaks

Ode to the Millennial Generation

Misunderstood millennials

TED talk

Suli Breaks

Why I Hate School But Love Education

Learning / education

Personal video

Alex Dang

What Kind of Asian are You?

Racial stereotypes

Button Poetry

Lemon Anderson

Please Don’t Take My Air Jordans

The lengths we go to for style

TED Talk

Daniel Beaty

Knock Knock

Incarcerated fathers

VICE News / The American Justice Summit

Rachel Wiley

For Fat Girls Who Considered Starvation When Bulimia Wasn’t Enough

Eating disorders / body image

Button Poetry

Rachel Wiley

Fat Joke

Body image / self love

Button Poetry

Melissa Lozada-Olivia

Like Totally Whatever (after Taylor Mali)

Toxic masculinity / white male privilege

Button Poetry

Steve Connell

All In

What it takes to excel

Farmers Insurance commercial

Clementine Von Radics

For Teenage Girls

Women’s empowerment

Soap Box Poetry Slam

Savannah Brown

Poem for Ohio

Tribute / ode

Personal video

Xero Skidmore

A Tribute to the Resilience of New Orleans

Tribute / ode

Personal video

Bianca Phipps

Open Letter to the Mother of Michael Dunn

Racism / gun violence

Button Poetry

Dominique Christina & Denice Frohman

No Child Left Behind

Social commentary on education

Button Poetry / Boulder, CO

Denice Frohman


Family / language

Nuyorican Poets Cafe performance

Shane Koyczan

To This Day


Animated video

David Bowden

The Inner Net

Divided and/or disengaged society

College student’s final project

Mike Rosen

When God Happens

9/11 – God

NYC Urbana Slam / Bowery Poetry Club

Malcolm Landon

High School Training Ground

Systemic problems in education

TED talk

Hanif Abdurraquib

OK, I’m Finally Ready to Say I’m Sorry for that One Summer

Gender roles/expectations / friendship

Button Poetry

Hanif Abdurraquib

All the Ways I Kept Myself Alive Today

Finding inner strength

Button Poetry

Hanif Abdurraquib

When I say that Loving Me is Kind of Like Being a Chicago Bulls Fan

Self awareness / explaining ourselves to someone

Button Poetry

Hanif Abdurraquib

At My First Punk Rock Show Ever

Accepting yourself when others don’t

Button Poetry Live

Blythe Baird

When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny

Eating disorder / recovery

National Poetry Slam 2015

Blythe Baird


Eating disorder / recovery

Button Poetry

Elizabeth Acevedo

For Us Girls 

Women empowerment / writing

PBS News Hour

Mahogany L Brown

Black Girl Magic

Self love / Black girls

PBS News Hour

Rebeca Mae

Dear God of Hiccups

Hiccups / losing someone

National Poetry Slam 2015

Emi Mahmoud

People Like Us

War / genocide

WOWPS 2016

Carlos Andres Gomez

If a Princess Tries to Kidnap Your Daughter

Fatherhood / Raising a daughter / Stereotypes

Nuyorican Poets Café performance

10 thoughts on “Find Poets

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  6. Pingback: #teachlivingpoets – Mrs. Love's Curious Curation of Creative Content

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  8. I was inspired by the episode on the Spark Creativity podcast featuring this website. I would love to incorporate at least one living poet monthly with my 7 & 8 grades. What poems/poets fit this bill? I don’t have endless minutes to search through the content.


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