Monday, April 29, 2013

CLANGINGS: This is not a poem...!!!!

This is not a note about Ex-Lovers
It is about the stunning unbefriendable women across world
Fenced away by the unseen wings of space

This is not an epistle 
It is about la-di-dahs who in 4745 days of their love lives, 
Never ever bordered to send a love letter 
Or receive a gift of rose either

This is not a poem per se
It is a reminder to not hold back a good thing
Because, you temporarily are just a custodian
Of a heart- a baby’s heart seething 

This is not a battleground
It is the gun-sounds of your heart-shots
Rendering my body into a debris 

This is not about heartaches and breakups
It is trusting my teen daughter to not rely on my opinion
To date a guy I know not from Eve

This is not about stringing words or painting hieroglyph-ed prescriptions
For blind patients
It is about a deaf man blowing a cello to dead men, walking

This is not about uncertainty or errata 
It is about cats caterwauling at the sight 
Of hapless dancing butterflies

This is not about sextractions or macho-quotients
It is about knowing the truth
Tasting the truth, yet testing the truth
In order to believe the lies

This is not a poem
So I need you to stop looking out for tropes
Where there is no imagery or symbols

This is not about dance macabre
It is lilting on a foot and scratching your itch
when all you got is peppered nails of hunger

This again is not about smashing
It is about varying pleasure with pressure 
Twitching and switching tongue-speed,
at mastered angles of attack

This is not about Amnesty or honesty
It is about Travesty 
Of handling hoodlums consent
Of reincarnation with blazing cudgels 

This is not about incarceration 
It is about death coming
Brandishing kisses and saying
In a familiar dreamy voice-
‘I bring you good news from yonder’

This is not a screaming contest
It is a whimpering release
Sliding disbelief into disaffection
And expecting anything short of regrets

This is not about a loveless world 
It is about finding a best friend
And hoping not to be friend-zoned for life

This is not about getting lost in lust 
It is in you looking for me 
And me finding you at the crossroad

This is not about making heaven or love
It is about ascending to the climax of freedom
And resisting return to the waste and chaos of landfills 

This is not about ‘red things’; red chili pepper
Bloody hot things you dare not sup with your mouth;
It is about the riotous fluxes sieving blazing load-stones

This not about banking on God or 
Maidens seeking sexual deposits
It is about temples where miracles are procured
With banged-mints in the bank of God

This is not about guns 
It is not about school kids
It is not about News men and new lies
It is about unaccounted cadavers whisked off at birth

This is not about emergencies and hospitals
It is about caregivers decapitating invalids
To allow beds for jaundiced parents of haemophilia

This is not about birth marks or stretchmarks
Rather, it is about the stub that registers the sacrifices you’ll never need to make again

This is not about defloration on a tomb-slab
It is about rage tattooed on the inner thighs of 
Forsaken kids.

This is not about Fate or Faith
Neither is it about the gospel
It is about indissoluble lies frothing
In fabricated mouths

This is not a dirge 
Nor is it a requiem in the funeral of a killer
It is about the unshed tears for kids who died kissing bombs in sleep
Guessing they were toys in real life

This is not a preachment about God
It is a soliloquy about demigods selling dogs
To feed their gods of unbelief

This I say is not your everyday verses
Or clich├ęd words strewn on paper
It is about the wounded lines you hear with
Your eyes
The forked words inveigling your eardrums

This is not about selfishness
It isn’t even about you
It is about the me in you
The you in me
it is about us

© Shittu Fowora 2013

Guide to memorizing poetry and delivering a spectacular performance.

What are the benefits of memorizing poetry?
How could memorizing your poetry change your spoken word performance?
I sometimes feel that audiences at slam poetry events penalize performers that read their work.
Either way audiences respond better to performers who can look them in the eye and make them feel as though they are talking to them individually.
I have seen the difference that memorizing poetry makes to my performance and wanted to share my tips:
1) Repeat your poetry out loud until you are sick of it
Okay, not so much until you are sick of it but, really, repeat your work to yourself until you remember it. Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to performing.
My public speaking teacher used to say repetition is the secret to giving a great speech. He would say he wants us to become mumblers, meaning he wanted us to carry our speeches around and read them quietly wherever we were.
Start off by reading the whole poem and finding the rhythm and breaks (pauses) of the poems. See the imagery in your poem and see it unfolding in your mind. I tend to see each verse as pictures and this is how I remember my poetry.
Memorize the first stanza and then add one line at a time. I would encourage you to memorize each stanza on its own.
When you have committed the poem to memory recite it in front of a mirror and observe yourself and your body language.
You can also perform the same spoken word piece a few times at various slam contests and open mic sessions, until you perfect it.
The more you perform the poem the more likely you will be to remember it and the more confident you will become and the better your performance will get.
A word of warning: please do not keep performing the same poem over and over at every event. I have seen many poets do this and even though their performance is great, it does not allow them to show their versatility as poets.
2) Rewrite your poetry until it is embedded in your psyche
Whenever there is a poem I cannot remember (and I have many of these) I make myself sit down and rewrite the poem at least twice. This usually allows me to edit the poem so that it is more true to me.
I then take note of the verses that are difficult for me to remember and I memorize them on their own.
Writing is always a great way to remember anything, that’s why teachers made us all write: “I will not talk in class” 50 times, so we would remember it.
The other thing about rewriting a poem is that you get to see how the poem could have been written in a better way.
3) Visualize your story as you are saying it
It is easy to remember pictures. If you have written a poem about your ex boyfriend, visualize yourself telling him the words you have written.
If you have written a story about an event in your past, relive it and see it as you are reciting the poem or story. This actually allows you to be in the moment and to feel your emotions which makes for a better performance.
Memorizing poetry may seem like a lot of work but it is worth taking a few minutes every day to practice your work and your performance.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Emotion+Thought+Words= POETRY

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
― Robert Frost
Emotions are fickle beasts. Sometimes they’re clear and brilliant: we’re happy, sad, frustrated, or angry. But emotions can also be complicated, layered, and conflicting. Sure, we’re happy but we’re also kind of annoyed about something. We’re sad but we also have something to be glad about. When emotions are textured and gritty, they are difficult to describe.
I believe music is the single best expression of human emotion, but poetry is a close second. Capturing complex feelings in words without the support of music is a marvelous feat. Only the deftest poets do it well.
Four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost is one of the most well known and beloved poets in the American literary canon. He knew how to convey emotions through language.

I was first introduced Frost’s work with the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which was featured in Outsiders. One of his most famous poems is “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
I’d like to share an excerpt from my favorite Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.”
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
By definition, poets take the road that is less traveled by. Some poets gently steer away from the mainstream; others rail in the face of convention.
According to Wikipedia, “In 1894 [Frost] sold his first poem, ‘My Butterfly. An Elegy’ …for $15 ($398 today).” These days, getting $15 for a poem would be an incredible feat. Getting $398 would be impossible. But there was a time when there was a market for poetry, when ordinary people (who were not writers, artists, or poets) bought and read poetry. Maybe back then people understood that poetry had the unique ability to interpret and explain emotions. 
Where do we turn for those interpretations and explanations today?

WORD UP Volume 3 DVD now available....!!!!!!

Word Up Volume 3 DVD is now available.
If interested, 
please call +2348025070892, +2348038315055
send a mail to

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I got up early one morning
And tried to worship God like I usually would do
I attempted to pray, but couldn’t get the words out
So I thought to sing – that always worked, but not that day

I was grateful to be alive, but didn’t know how to tell the ONE who made that possible
I was thankful to be saved, but couldn’t quite find the words to convey this
And then I turned, looked at  my husband and smiled
In quick succession, I recalled how I birthed my children and then I sighed
Almost like in a cinema, I watched how my life had been – my past flashed before me; scene after scene

I remembered my moments of shame, of guilt and how sad I once was
But then, a victorious chant of “halleluyah” filled my thoughts
And then I realized that it is a lot easier to worry over what had been lost; what could have been
Than it is to be glad for what you have left; what can still be achieved
He put a song on my lips that day – a melody in my heart:

Only believe
Just believe
Yes believe
That everything will be alright
Only believe
Just believe
You’ve gotta believe
There is hope for your soul.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

i2X Media Presents WAR OF WORDS (a Spoken Word Poetry Competition)

i2X Media 
(organizers of WORD UP, the biggest Spoken Word Poetry Event in Nigeria)


War oWords
(A Spoken Word Poetry Competition)

This event comes up in June 2013.

The competition is only open to Poets that have never performed at WORD UP and that will be in Nigeria at the time of the competition.

To participate, you will need to have a Youtube account 
(Google Mail users/ owner will automatically have a Youtube account),

There will be cash prizes for the top three poets, 
and they automatically get to perform at the next edition of WORD UP on August 17, 2013.

1. Official Hashtag of the competition is #WarOfWords1. 

2. The title of the poem must contain the official hashtag #WarOfWords1, else your entry is not valid.

3. You will be required to submit an original poem that is in English, pidgin English or a combination of both. All non-english words used in the poem must be explained in the information box of the video. 

4. Ensure  your name/ stage name, email address and wordings of the video are in the information box of the video. If the information box can not contain the wordings of the poem, send it to stating your name and title of the poem with the hashtag in the subject box of the mail.

5. The video submissions should not be more than 3 minutes long and must be uploaded on your Youtube channel. If you don't have a Youtube channel, please open one.

6.The submitted video must be one camera, one poet and recorded specifically for the competition. No live performance videos and no special effects.

7. All poets are limited to a total of one submission.

8. You will be required to post the link of the Youtube Video in the comment section of this post and other subsequent related post(s) on and, else your entry is not valid.

9. You will also be required to tweet the video link with the official hashtag #WarOfWords1 at any or all of the twitter accounts in the body of this post and on our Facebook official page after liking the page, else your entry is not valid.

Follow us all on Twitter:  ,  ,  ,  ,  

10. The theme of the competition will be supplied when the competition officially opens :). 

A total of 15 poets will be chosen from the entries for the competition. The first ten will be chosen by our in-house judges. The last five will be chosen based on most viewed, most liked  and the videos with the most comments.

Thus, if you are a Spoken Word Artist, Performance Poet, or a Wordsmith,
then you should not miss this one chance, to kiss words and make them dance.

For more details, stay tuned to and

Friday, April 19, 2013

SPOKEN WORD POETRY: The Art The Industry The Viability 01/14 by MASTER GRIOT NBBTA RADIO Live | Blog Talk Radio

SPOKEN WORD POETRY: The Art The Industry The Viability 01/14 by MASTER GRIOT NBBTA RADIO Live | Blog Talk Radio

Shihan Van Clief to host a workshop in Nigeria on "The Business of Spoken Word Poetry."

This May 17, 2013,

From 4pm

Shihan Van Clief 
(the award winning and internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet from USA)

will be hosting a workshop on,

“The Business of Spoken Word Poetry”

It will be an interactive session.

This event is free but strictly by invitation.

For invites, stay tuned to


Niggaz for sale. lol. 
who is buying?
Shihan doing a Poetry titled, The Auction Network.

Peter, my love...!!!

Let me tell you a story about my love Peter
One of my many followers on twitter.
Got me falling hopelessly with his love letter
Till we hit it off, 3rd year-1st semester

Needless to say the love grew sweeter
Graduated and served 3 years later
Thereafter signing the marriage register
With a cute daughter, 
life couldn't be better

Now Rita was the beautiful babysitter
With very heavily endowed "Man-chester"
Also a very talented pick-pocketer
Little did I know she was a man-eater

I should have listened to the stories from the street’s jobless carpenter
I should have suspected Peter’s constant stares at the newscaster
Or even his lustful stolen glances at the bar waiter
I should have expected to catch my man and Rita
Recklessly, merrily Rollin’rolls on my two-seater

Temperature almost shattering the thermometer
Only thing I could calculate was the perimeter
Between me and her broken bones which won’t heal even with plaster
And have me behind bars for manslaughter

Good thing common sense came up like a lighter
Remembering the crime movies seen at movie theatres
thinking no jail term, 
no emotional roller-coaster
So I gave them a space of 40 kilometres

Now I’m blazing a packet of dorchester
Who would have thought I’d end up so bitter
Needless to say he’d be hearing from my barrister
Oh Peter, ma peter, 
the hopeless cheater

Now I’m ready for a new chapter
Really hoping that my next epistle would be much brighter
With lots of reasons for loud banter and laughter
Cos I and I know I ain’t a quitter

To be continued……………………………………


Monday, April 15, 2013

Violent Love by Tofarati Ige

We make love with punches and kicks,
make up with hugs and kisses/
This crazy whirlwind of ours,
That we call love,
Seems so strange,
Yet so familiar.
I find comfort in your rage,
Seek solace in your arms,
But you always bring me harm.
And I ask myself,
Am I crazy?
Have I lost my mind?
Or have I been hypnotised,
By this bestiality,
My beauty,
Seems to bring out the beast in you.
I thought they said love was true,
Guess whoever said that didn't think it through,
Cos our love is filled with violence.
A slap today,
A shove tomorrow,
You hurt me to my bone marrow.
My man, my anchor,
You're supposed to be my shield,
But you're the one who causes me pain,
You're driving me insane.
Yet I have to put on a happy face,
A fake smiley,
While inwardly I cry,
And ask, why me?
We hold hands together,
And people think we're the perfect couple,
How wrong they are,
I pity those who wish to be in my shoes,
What fools!
I beg to be let loose,
For of what use,
Are appearances to a ghost,
The society has chained me to you,
Cos they say it should be for better for worse,
I thought marriage was supposed to be fun,
Only now I know better,
It's an emotional prison,
And I wish to be set free,
Marriage should be a celebration of love,
Not a festival of hate,
I choose to live,
I choose to leave,
I'd rather have a dead marriage,
Than a dead body!

by Tofarati Ige aka G.T

Shihan Van Clief talking about coming to perform at WORD UP Volume 4 this May 18, 2013 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria. The show will also feature the best of Nigerian Spoken Word Poets such as Plumbline, Efe Paul, Donna K, Atilola, Olulu, Elisheva, Lumynos, Obii, Enigmatic Olumide, Dolapo and many 

WORD UP Volume 4 preview. It comes up on May 18, 2013 at Terra Kulture, V/i, Lagos, Nigeria. It will feature Naija's A-list Spoken Word Poets, with a special performance by an Internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet. 
Music by Sensational Soul singer and emcees are Duvy and Don Fabrino.
Branding and Sponsorship Opportunities is still available.
Call +2348025070892

Is spoken word, poetry or music? By Chelsea Humphries

Spoken word is often an unnoticed, underrepresented art form; is it poetry? Is it music? It's hard for the uninitiated to tell.

As novice spoken word artist Billy Ferguson puts it, spoken word can be most simply defined as "emotion meets language." Something even the most unpoetic and artistically-challenged of us can relate to.
"Spoken word is performance poetry," elaborates David Silverberg, the founder and host of the Toronto Poetry Slam. "It's not like written poetry where the reader can read at their own pace – it's poetry without knowing what's coming next."
Spoken word, then, is not constrained by literary conventions,backbeats, or rigid rhythms; it's expression in its purest, most fluid form. As such, it's incredibly powerful.
"When I write and perform spoken word," says Ferguson, "it's as though I'm able to see into myself." As an art form, he says, spoken word fosters the development of creative, philosophical, and emotional insights.
Even listening to spoken word can be a transformative experience. Just taking the time to really assess one's state of being, regardless of whether it's through one's own words or another's, allows one to experience the emotional depth and creative release that we as humans are capable of.
"Spoken word shows me that we all have a mutuality that is a part of our intrinsic human nature," says Ferguson. "We all feel love. We all feel hurt. We all feel pride. We all feel hopelessness. When we find ways to express these feelings through spoken word, it shows us that all of our emotions, thoughts, and dreams can be broken down and shared with one another. We have the ability to share these things every day."
Perhaps spoken word is what we as a society have been waiting for. Silverberg admits that spoken word is often overlooked, "especially by school boards," but nonetheless, is an accessible art form — one that "might resonate more with kids than Shakespeare."
In a world that can be as disconnected as ours, then, perhaps spoken word is what can reconnect us.
"There's a rippling effect through Toronto, USA," Silverberg says, "We get 150 people at our monthly poetry slams now." Slowly, it seems, more people are becoming interested in the art of spoken word.
When asked why, Silverberg says that spoken word represents "a truth that lots of people can relate to."
Billy Ferguson agrees: the key is honesty.
"There are a lot of moments in life that we don't want to be true," he says, "things that we would rather hide away. While it feels ‘safe' to cover these moments or feelings up, it's not healthy. Spoken word is all about digging up the inner-most parts of your being, and sending them out to the universe. Sure, we may use metaphors to describe something that's too difficult to be blunt about, but in the end the art form revolves around openness, and honesty."
Spoken word, then, appeals to our deepest, most universal needs for truth, creativity and expression. It captures the essence of what it means to be human, and also what it means to be free. As David Silverberg says, "sometimes we just need to listen to one person with a mic, not a band or a fifteen dollar book of ‘literature.'" Sometimes, we just need to return to basics, pure and unrestrained. Spoken word does that.

Shihan Van Clief talking about coming to perform at WORD UP Volume 4 this May 18, 2013 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria. The show will also feature the best of Nigerian Spoken Word Poets such as Plumbline, Efe Paul, Donna K, Atilola, Olulu, Elisheva, Lumynos, Obii, Enigmatic Olumide, Dolapo and man

WORD UP Volume 4 preview. It comes up on May 18, 2013 at Terra Kulture, V/i, Lagos, Nigeria. It will feature Naija's A-list Spoken Word Poets, with a special performance by an Internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet. 
Music by Sensational Soul singer and emcees are Duvy and Don Fabrino.
Branding and Sponsorship Opportunities is still available.
Call +2348025070892

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Last man standing...!!!

I am the last man standing,
If everyone is falling
And standards are failing,
For me there won’t be any compromisjg,
To do what’s right I won’t be hesitating,
Will keep my light shining,
No more slacking, dulling or hating.
I am the last man standing,
Life can be demanding
my values I won’t be undermining
Truth and justice I will be upholding.
Cos in God I am believing
Since people can be be deceiving
I am the Last man standing,
Got things I’m targeting,
Everyday I’m hustling
Surviving and thriving,
No room to be complaining,
Cos the top is where I am going.
Join me if you ready and willing
So together we will keep standing.

by Olulu

Chill and Relax: April Frills (a monthly open mic Performance Poetry event)

Chill and Relax: April Frills
A monthly Performance Poetry and Spoken Word open mic event 
where everyone and anyone can step up and rock the mic.
Date is April 14, 2013 (2nd Sunday of the month)
Time is 3pm
Venue is 16, Abeni close, ASA Estate, off Ayodele Okeowo
street, after Deeper Life church, Soluyi Gbagada, Lagos 
Featuring Naija's Finest Poets.
Special Soul Music Performance by
Oyinkansola (Soul music Diva with style).