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Playlist: Spoken-word fireworks

8 talks · 1h 59m · Curated by TED

Spoken-word fireworks (8 talks)

Brave and beautiful expressions from some of the world's most talented spoken-word performers, who weave stories in words and gestures.

  • 1.
    18:25
    Now playing
    "If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she's gonna call me Point B ... " began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York's Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of "B" and "Hiroshima."
  • 2.
    12:03
    Now playing
    By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and … different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.
  • 3.
    9:12
    Now playing
    Rives The 4 a.m. mystery
    Posted Jul 2007
    Poet Rives does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o'clock in the morning.
  • 4.
    23:05
    Now playing
    Writer and actor Anna Deavere Smith gives life to author Studs Terkel, convict Paulette Jenkins, a Korean shopkeeper and a bull rider, excerpts from her solo show "On the Road: A Search for American Character."
  • 5.
    21:00
    Now playing
    In this hilariously lively performance, actress Sarah Jones channels an opinionated elderly Jewish woman, a fast-talking Dominican college student and more, giving TED2009 just a sample of her spectacular character range.
  • 6.
    5:53
    Now playing
    Poet Suheir Hammad performs two spine-tingling spoken-word pieces: "What I Will" and "break (clustered)" — meditations on war and peace, on women and power. Wait for the astonishing line: "Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded."
  • 7.
    6:05
    Now playing
    Combining projection mapping and a pop-up book, Marco Tempest tells the visually arresting story of Nikola Tesla — called “the greatest geek who ever lived” — from his triumphant invention of alternating current to his penniless last days.
  • 8.
    23:34
    Now playing
    Storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy spins a funny, wise and luminous tale of parents and kids, starring her Cuban mother. Settle in and enjoy the ride — Mama's driving!