Author Archives: adamjr98

My Thoughts on Spoken Word Poetry

I really enjoy spoken word. It’s entertaining and I acknowledge how much courage it takes to present one’s self in-front of a crowd only to grasp their attention by only with his/her voice. I also acknowledge how much influence spoken word is in hip-hop. Hip-hop is my favorite genre of music and most of hip-hop is spoken word but just with a beat behind it. I liked the film we watched on spoken word, Louder Than a Bomb (2011). It felt good seeing the kids making the best out of their situation, by coming to this class everyday and doing what it takes to preform at the spoken word event that was held. May sound obvious, but throughout watching Louder Than a Bomb, I learned that the amount of work one puts into something will always show at the end. I don’t know of any spoken word poets but I have seen some live throughout my life. Watching is one thing but like with most, seeing is its own thing. One of the things I remembered when I saw a live spoken word performance was not just the poet, but the audience’s reaction to the poet. The poet I saw put so much pain in his piece it had some individuals tearing up and most faces with a sense of sympathy.


My research on Andrew Grace

Andrew Grace grew up in a farm family in the out skirts of Urbana, Illinois. After realizing that the setting of the never ending crops that the farm lifestyle provided wasn’t really that appealing to him, he found himself constantly moving west until found himself living most of his early years in the Bay area of California. Most of Andrew’s early poetry was about the landscape he grew up in. Andrew currently resides in Ohio as a PHD candidate (it’s safe to say that he has gotten it by now considering that it was 2012 at the time of him stating that) with his wife, Tory Weber, and daughter, Lily. He received his education from Kenyon College, Washington University, and University of Cincinnati, but gives credit for most of his poetry knowledge from shopping at the bookstores in Berkeley. Andrew has been a visiting professor for many english classes at Kenyon college. Poetry came to his support more than ever after his father past away from a farm accident, during his teenage years. Many poets were a great influence to Andrew including, Eigner, Oppen, Niedecker, Giscombe, and Hillman. As a punk rock fan in his adolescent years, punk rock also had some what of an influence sprinkled into Andrew’s writing. Andrew’s recent acceptance of publication of his second book by the Ohio State University Press, and many poem features including, Boston Review and Iowa Review just shows how much of a successful writer Andrew Grace is.


  1. “Sancta.” Ahsahta Press, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.
  2. Andy Grace. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.


Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A lascivious, knowing, or wanton look.

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Found in: Line 6 of “”All American Girl,”” by Julia Alvarez: “trying to match my face with words in my new language: grimace, leer, disgust, disdain…”

Knowing the definition of the word leer help me understand the rout the speaker took in the poem, the reader can understand that the speaker isn’t speaking in a positive manner towards American culture.


Part of speech: adverb

Definition: with gentleness, kindness, and affection

Source: Google Dictionary

Found In: Line 1 of “Folding My Clothes” By Julia Alvarez : “Tenderly she would take them down and fold the arms in and fold again where my back should go until it made a small tight square of my chest…”

The definition of the word Tenderly helped me understand how much some of these clothes the speaker is folding may mean to her.

Poetry in Motion- Remembering Summer By W.S. Merwin

The name of the poem I found was Remembering Summer by W.S. Merwin; I found this poem on the G train. First read, I was confused because it seemed like the speaker was jumping around also contradicting himself sentence after sentence. After reading more, I then realized that there was a pattern to it, which was that some lines were its own thought and one would get lost if you tried to connect the thoughts (lines) that didn’t go together. As far as the visuals for this poem goes, there’s a minor assortment of bright bright ceramic tiles, and one of the patterns is what appears to be some sort of yellow flower. I think this poem was chosen for subway readers to read because New Yorkers can relate the most to what it feels like to being too cold, while also being able to have a short but very warm summer. The speaker is a boy or girl that is talking to an older woman about what she thinks of the winter and being cold compared to the summer, and how she didn’t remember much of the summer because of how quick it passed by. With the subject being summer, the theme of this poem is that summer was so enjoyable and short to remember if the heat was ever an uncomfortable factor because of the positive distractions nature provided.