Chronicles of a writer abroad

Finding Inspiration in Spoken Word Poetry


It’s a testament to my capricious nature that I’m always proposing new series or features for this blog (and carrying through with just some of them). I feel a need to do it, though, because while I enjoy blogging on the regular, I’m finding that expat life itself no longer provides adequate fodder for frequent entries — I’m pretty accustomed to the life I’m living here by now, so it’s become difficult to pick out things to hold up as strange or noteworthy. And forced entries are not good entries — I was reminded of this gem when it was shared by family members on facebook. That, in short, is what I fear my blog becoming if I try to regularly produce material on my original theme.

But there are so many other things I’d like to talk about. For example, as a person who attempts to do creative work on a daily basis, I’ve become interested in sources of creativity and sources of inspiration.

An obvious way to become inspired as a writer is to read books, and this is indeed  a major source of creative juice for me. I just finished reading Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love, and as with any of his books that I’ve finished, it’s left me with a powerful yearning to do what he does: to be able to write so beautifully, and to tell a story so well.

But I’m also interested in becoming inspired by other means. I think music is also important to many writers — I know it is to me, as a novice. I listen to the a wide range of music (though not typically while writing).  What I find really inspires me in a writerly way is rap — I love the wordplay and the rhythms that it contains. It is Rhythm And Poetry, after all.

Not dissimilar to rap is spoken word poetry. This combines my love of poetry (duh), wordplay, rhythm and rhyme, and the chance to hear an author read their own work. I wish I lived in a city where I could see spoken word live, but the internet is the next best thing. In fact, some of the poets that I love the most, I’ve discovered through TED. If you’re at all interested in spoken word, have a gander at the two poets linked below. I’d also be very interested in hearing what inspires you to do your work, whatever your work may be!


Sarah Kay


2 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration in Spoken Word Poetry

  1. I think what inspires me most are characters. I run into a cross-section of fun and quirky personalities in my work. What I really miss is riding the subway in Toronto. On any given day you could see a corporate lawyer-type with polka-dot socks sitting next to a tired older woman with seven bags of cereal and cat food while some guy on the train is making music with chopsticks and half-empty yogurt containers.

  2. If I sound crazy, it’s because I’m marking final exams right now. I still haven’t found quite the right inspiration to make marking week bearable.

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