Def Poetry Jam

Honestly I can’t remember whether I have already mentioned these videos before! Nevertheless, it is worth, in my opinion, any writer knowing about them. Def Poetry Jam was a TV series, aired from 2002 – 2007. Similar to the programme Def Comedy Jam, the programme features both famed and up-and-coming poets to perform their spoken poetry. For any writer hoping to master their craft, the oral presentation is a must hear! These videos always remind me how beautiful words are not only for paper.

You can find a whole range of poets and poems simply by searching ‘def poetry’ on YouTube. My favourites are the ones with a message conveyed through a good rhythm. Recently I have been reworking some writing pieces, so they sound better when spoken. Overall it’s giving me much more confidence in my writing and making editing decisions a lot more concise. The technicality of writing is to guide the reader in interpreting the sounds you intended.

If you’re struggling to pick a video, here’s a few of my absolute favourites:

  • Common – A Letter to the Law
  • Lauryn Hill – Motives and Thoughts
  • Amir Sulaiman – She Said, I prefer a Broken Neck
  • David Banner – What About Us
  • Georgia Me – Hit Like a Man
  • Frenchie – F*cking Ain’t Conscious
  • Dana Gilmore – Wife, Woman, Friend (Parts 1 & 2)


But I really could go on… I have picked some of the ones I find particularly charismatic and there are plenty more to explore. Of course I recommend any and all of them!

Let me know if you give them a listen – I love hearing what you think,


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