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

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.

I have a MASSIVE LIST of poets that I’m always adding to. It’s certainly not a finished, complete, or perfect list, but it has about 350 poets on it currently– with their Twitter handles if they have one, and a link to access their work. I know I’m missing a ton of poets, so I’ll try to keep adding to it every so often!

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

Author Title / Link Topic Type
Sarah Kay Hands (performance at Apollo)
Hands (video with images)
Relationship with father Def Poetry Jam (solo)
Sarah Kay The Type
The Type
The type of woman you are — advice/inspiration/ empowerment Urbana Poetry Club (2013)
Button Poetry (2015)  
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 Complainers Stop complaining over trivial stuff Jimmy Fallon Show
Rudy Francisco Rifle Gun violence, toxic masculinity Jimmy Fallon Show
Rudy Francisco Adrenaline Rush Police brutality / racism Button Poetry
Phil Kaye Repetition Effects of divorce on kid Button Poetry
Phil Kaye Before the Internet Childhood nostalgia Button Poetry
Phil Kaye Unalienable 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
Sy Stokes The Black Bruins UCLA students criticizing 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 Depression 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 Race 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 Friends 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
? Muslim Girl / Jewish Girl Stereotypes Brave New Voices quarterfinals
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
Taylor Mali Totally Like Whatever You Know Speak with conviction Def Poetry Jam
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
Shane Koyczan To This Day Bullying 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

Beltway Poetry (?)

The American Dream Social commentary / inequality National Poetry Slam 2014
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
Hanif Abdurraquib Summer of 2009 Where do I even start with this one?   Button Poetry
Blythe Baird When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny Eating disorder / recovery National Poetry Slam 2015
Rebeca Mae Dear God of Hiccups Hiccups / losing someone National Poetry Slam 2015
Emi Mahmoud People Like Us War / genocide WOWPS 2016


One thought on “Find Poets

  1. Pingback: Looking for a local poetry slam, open mic, workshop group, or event? – Trish Hopkinson

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