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To start with, spoken word poetry involves expression, voice, clarity and above all a deep interest for humanity and nourishment. Further prompting the individual to draw on their own personal experiences and link all up with current events, situations and milestones within their local/regional surroundings.
In short, Spoken Word poetry is a platform which many have used and are still using today to address important issues, topics, events but above all expressing individual freedom (of expression). It’s a medium which pieces together a story and directs it to a wide audience. This may involve live spoken word demonstrations, audio-based formats or even a live performance.
One complete definition of Spoken Word Poetry reads as the following:
It is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play and intonation and voice inflection. It is a ‘catchall’ which includes any kind of poetry recited aloud, including hip hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams, traditional poetry readings and can include comedy routines and ‘prose monologues’. 
Spoken word poetry has been extremely influential. Not only for today’s generation but also generations gone. One particular type of poetry (which is still being performed today) includes SLAM poetry.
According to powerpoetry.org
“Slam poetry is a spoken-word form of poetry that is largely influenced by the free verse, musical style of Beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. It first took hold in the U.S. in the 1980’s, when open mic sessions started taking place at cafés in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Austin.” 
Drawing on my own experience with spoken word poetry, I would say that it’s definitely a platform that is truly unique and grounded in aiding individuals to speak their mind and express themselves through freedom of expression. For me, poetry is the eye to ones soul and is certainly a medium which is transcending and beautiful. Whether that be live spoken word poetry (in front of an audience) or audible spoken word poetry (which one may listen too through their headphones etc.)
Leading on from the brief background of spoken word poetry includes looking into those that have been key game changers within this particular field. Below are three influencers which have shaped generations (including myself) to really think, explore, express and harness their vocal power and prowess by working on change, diversity, difference and passion. These key influencers for me are titans, in how they write, perform, express themselves, spread the practices of spoken word poetry and are fuelled by passion, a love for humanity and civilisation (on the whole) respectively.
As for influencers, the following profiles (attached below) aided my understanding of spoken word poetry from the perspective of those performing it as a profession and their own respectives experiences and situatiosn feeding into their poem writing style and prose.
Patricia Smith: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/patricia-smith
“In poems propelled by voice and verve, she moves through the urbanscapes of Chicago and Detroit—conjuring first love and Motown with equal fervor. Her poems simultaneously zip along the textured surface of these worlds and plunge to the soul-depths of the people who inhabit them.” 
Jill Scott: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/style/2000/12/24/jill-scotts-poetic-soul/bddcd7d2-7db3-48c1-a2d2-7689a293b427/?utm_term=.6b48d65167e5 
During the creation of my artefact, I was deeply intrigued to see what the public thought about the practices of spoken poetry and emotion on the whole. Below are some highlights from the survey (discussing spoken word poetry) distributed (by myself) through facebook, twitter and some of my own connections (studying creative writing/equivalent). Below are all the responses I gained back (with embedded stats and charts): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1onAUJsy-M54RFjUWwyoIXnxA8y5aI578/view?usp=sharing
Which aided me in the creation of my “Something New” artefact where I adopted for a spoken poem (format) originally written by myself and my fellow collaborator on ballet, dance, emotion and feeling. The feeling when gets when watching a live ballet performance, all the way down to the individual taking part in the dance itself (as the main performer).
For me creating a spoken word poem and recording it alongside my collaborator proved a very valuable experience. This is because it gave us a platform to express our thoughts and key feelings on this particular dance form known as Ballet. Further adding in our own emotional experience with the dance itself and our respective journeys with all etc. I wanted to bring together sound and movement in a very engrossing fashion by paying a close eye of words, imagery, symbolism and artistic expression. Whilst also incorporating relatable ballet elements (from sound and word passages) to familiarise listeners with what they are listening too. I also wanted to create a performance piece with a professional practising the subject themselves (aiding the subject matter). In order to really set the scene by creating a piece of immersive poetic dialogue from the viewpoint of two characters. One from the audience’s point of view and the other actually performing the dance piece themselves. Thus establishing an indirect connection between both character consciences, witnessing direct emotion, feeling, passion, engagement and admiration for the dance itself.
To conclude, “How do the practices of spoken word poetry affect audience engagement?” I would say that audience participation isn’t directly affected when spoken poetry is performed in front of an audience compared to being presented purely through audio channels (without a direct live response). This is because spoken word poetry is all about gaining a connection with an audience verbally. Whilst drawing on experiences, decisions and responses (to current events). Thus would say that spoken word poetry is a universal medium used for many to express their voices of individualism and identity.
Overall, reflecting on my final artefact for “Something New” I would say that my collaborators and I’s piece really speaks volumes in terms of our individual relationship with dance. Further pronounced and accentuated through our respective writing styles ad respective tones, imagery uses. If I were to do this particular project again, I would think about opting to use a different type of software (within the Adobe CC 2015 suite). As I feel that learning and using Adobe audition would help me to really refine each vocal passage and bring in more depth and clarity. Thus working in some bass, volume and also a bit more elevation to really lift the voices up so that they don’t get lost amongst the soundscape (background score). One main point of the project itself that I am most proud of includes my ability to convey deep emotion and pose through words for this particular artefact. This is because I feel this creation, in particular, is very meaningful and thought out as it involves my own emotions, feelings with the dance itself. Drawing on my collaborator’s journey with Ballet as well, as it is an activity not only close to her heart but also embedded in her as she lives for expression, pose and dedication (towards the dance itself).
 Spoken word – Wikipedia. 2017. Spoken word – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoken_word. [Accessed 11 November 2017].
 History of Slam Poetry – Spoken Word Poetry | Power Poetry. 2017. History of Slam Poetry – Spoken Word Poetry | Power Poetry. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.powerpoetry.org/actions/what-slam-poem. [Accessed 11 November 2017].
 Patricia Smith. 2017. Patricia Smith – Poet | Academy of American Poets. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/patricia-smith. [Accessed 12 November 2017].
 Washington Post. 2017. Jill Scott’s Poetic Soul – The Washington Post. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/style/2000/12/24/jill-scotts-poetic-soul/bddcd7d2-7db3-48c1-a2d2-7689a293b427/?utm_term=.6b48d65167e5. [Accessed 12 November 2017].