The Circulation, Delivery and Spreadability of Spoken Word

Poetry is a form of written/literary work. It is constantly evolving and adapting in the modern world. Spoken word is a form of performance poetry. I have been interested in spoken word since I first found out what it was in high school. I sat in my Creative Writing II class and my teacher introduced our next project to us: spoken word. She rolled down the projector, cued the spoken word video and let it play. I became very invested in watching, understanding and sharing spoken word videos after I saw my first video in that class. I went home, watched many and shared it with my friends who were also interested in creative works. The main source I found for watching these videos is Youtube.

As many of my peers have mentioned in previous posts, in the article Why Media Spreads, it is written that spreadable media is “…a mix of top-down and bottom-up forced determine how material is shared across and among cultures in far more participatory (and messier ways)” (Jenkins). Similar to Kes’s post, spoken word videos have a bottom-up circulation because individuals record themselves and post it to Youtube (or sometimes Facebook). It does have a top-down aspect as well because many companies have their own Youtube channels. For example, TED is a media organization that posts talks online. Some of their talks include spoken word. TED also has a Youtube account where they can use Youtube’s wide audience to promote themselves. For example, Sarah Kay’s If I Should Have a Daughter has 5 million views, 106,000 likes and 1,300 dislikes.

In the article, it discusses the term viral media. It is described as, “a term whose popularity has been fueled by the rapid rise of social network sites alongside declining advertising rates and an extremely fragmented audience for broadcast media” (Jenkins). As mentioned before Youtube and Facebook are two primary social network sites that I have used to watch spoken word videos. It’s easy simple to see a video pop up on your timeline, watch it, and click the ‘share’ button, only adding to the spreadability of the work and/or genre.

Word Count: 353

Works Cited:

Jenkins, Henry, et. al. “Why Media Spreads.” Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York University Press, 2018.