Every now and again a poet delivers a performance so powerful it lingers in the mind long after they’ve uttered their final word. These are the performances that are remembered long after the poet calls it a day on their poetry careers.
“OCD” by Neil Hilborn
Neil Hilborn’s “OCD” is not only incredibly affecting but also masterfully delivered. The performance, which can be found on Button Poetry’s YouTube channel, is a perfect example of what performance poetry can be when a poet has complete command of the stage and their subject matter; and knows exactly the impression they want to leave on the audience before it’s all said and done at the end of the night.
“Miss America” by Ramya Ramana
Ramya Ramana’s performance of “Miss America” at the NYC 2014 Slam Final is the type of performance every poet strives to accomplish at least once in their poetry career. What makes this particular performance so stupendous isn’t only that it is delivered with such spellbinding ardour, but that it is so uncompromisingly honest. “Miss America” is relevant. It’s brilliant. But most importantly of all, it’s necessary.
“The System” by Prentice Powell
Prentice Powell’s performance of “The System” on Season 3 of Rhythm and Flow will surely go down in the annals of performance poetry history as one of the most legendary performances… period. Many a poet has taken to the stage to speak about the corruption caused by the “system”, but none have done it quite like Prentice Powell. An aspiring poet looking for a lesson in performance, delivery, storytelling, and stage presence need not look any further than Powell’s “The System”.
Written by: Liam Spencer