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Literary Arts

The Three R's of Performance Poetry

Exploring roots, rhythm and relatability


Published: 17 Mar 2021

Time taken : >15mins

Say it and slay it

The literary art form of spoken word took to the stage at Esplanade in March 2021. In the right place at the right time, we found in two effervescent performance poets, Stephanie "Dogfoot" Chan and Harini V, a wealth of knowledge about the Singapore performance poetry scene as it is today. The two writers also speak of the intricacies of their approaches and the unspoken connections they build with spoken word audiences.

Watch it all play out in three R's: Roots, Rhythm and Relatability. In 'Roots', the two poets discuss their influences and identify key movers in the homegrown spoken word scene. In 'Rhythm', they perform excerpts from their own poetry to show how spoken word has a life beyond the page. And in 'Relatability', they reveal the secret to engaging audiences, as well as the emotion which they find the hardest to convey.


There's nothing like just performing to a bunch of people in the same room and just feeling their reactions.

Steph Dogfoot


When we do perform spoken word poetry we need to think about what exactly is your voice.

Harini V


For me, an individual talking about hope, about healing and in a way that is so personal and so intriguing and it pulls you in without it seeming like affirmations said out loud. I think that would be something that I would like to see. 

Harini V

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