Minor in English: Spoken Word/Poetry Slam/Performance Poetry Track

The English minor in spoken word/poetry slam/performance poetry immerses students in the modern performance poetry movement, which includes myriad diverse artistic voices.

Through poetry, theater, and musical exercises, students establish their own poetic voices and the most powerful ways to express themselves to an audience. Students also develop their art through analytical writing, oral presentation, research, and participation in the Berklee Poetry Club. Students explore the history of performance poetry, from the ancient competitions of Greece to the modern forms of slam poetry, performance art, rap, and spoken word. Students participate in the active dialog between the traditional world of poetry and the more recent phenomenon of slam poetry and other kinds of poetic performance.

Poetic, theatrical, and musical talent from Boston and beyond comes to the classroom in the form of guest lecturers and performers, and students contribute to the local poetic and theatrical community, inside and outside of the classroom. The English minor in spoken word/poetry slam/performance poetry helps students enhance performance skills while also gaining philosophical, cultural, and historical contexts for the art they are studying. Students gain an increased confidence in their own voice and an informed artistic and cultural perspective.

Entrance Requirements

Students must take LENG-111 Introduction to College Writing and follow the regular declaration of minor procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a minor in English: spoken word/poetry slam/performance poetry track, students will:

  • evaluate the role of performance poetry in society as it pertains to the personal, cultural, and political;
  • develop an individual, creative voice as expressed through word and music;
  • distinguish among the different styles, genres, themes, trends, and key terminology of performance poetry and traditional poetry, both in terms of poetic form and performance style;
  • synthesize their linguistic, musical, and performative aesthetic;
  • explore the artistry of words;
  • create their own poetic compositions;
  • apply theatrical and oratorical skills for stage performance;
  • examine the thriving poetry scene in Boston; and
  • apply critical, logical, and creative thinking to analyze their own and others' art.
Curriculum and Courses

Required Courses (two courses; 6 credits)

  • LENG-450 Spoken Word and Slam Poetry 1 (3 credits)
  • LENG-452 Spoken Word and Slam Poetry 2 (3 credits)

Elective Courses (choose two; 6 credits):

  • LENG-318 Studies in Poetry and Lyric (3 credits)
  • LENG-325 Theater Workshop (3 credits)
  • LENG-331 Creative Writing: Poetry 1 (3 credits)
  • LENG-431 Creative Writing: Poetry 2 (3 credits)