Spoken-word poetry—or performance poetry—hails back to jazz poetry of the 1920s, and gained added momentum with the Beat poets of the 1950s. Directness, liberation, and protest are its hallmarks. In 1982, Apples and Snakes, Britain’s foremost organization for spoken-word poetry, was formed. It’s motto? “Poetry with bite.” These diverse wordsmiths hail from around the country, and though their live performances are shuttered at the moment, weekly episodes of top lineups are available on the Apples and Snakes YouTube channel. —E.C.
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