Content and Techniques in Contemporary Nigerian Spoken Word Poetry

Published: June 2019

Authors:  Omajuwa, Ogugua & Kaine, Nnemtem

About Author: Department of Languages.Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State

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Over the years, spoken word poetry has been largely relegated in favour of written poetry. Spoken word poetry, poetry whose origin can be traced to oral tradition, is fast becoming a favourite of the youths. This paper investigated the content and techniques in Dike Chukwumerije’s “Okwesilieze”, “The Revolution has no Tribe” and Titilope Sonuga’s “Icarus” and “Take back the Night”. The selection of these poets was informed by the fact that they are not only headline spoken word poets but they also organize workshops, seminars and events where they mentor and teach young aspiring poets. This paper investigated their poetry in light that their works will greatly influence the poetry of their protégées. The paper investigates the content of the poems and poetic techniques employed in them. The study reveals that the content and form of the studied poems are inspired by everyday experiences. The study concludes that the realistic and simple nature of its content and form has made spoken word popular among the Nigerian youths.

Keywords: Nigerian poetry, contemporary “oral” poetry, spoken word poetry.