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Why performance is the embodiment of poetry | Michael Rosen

The Turner prize judges understand the thrill of the spoken word. I had to learn it from 400 primary school children

It's not been a great week in the world of language and literature for those who want to see the modern out in the cold. First, an A-level board dared suggest that young students could explore a wide variety of written English then the Turner prize judges put a spoken-word artist on their shortlist.

Performance poetry in Britain is flourishing. Alongside the poets with rock star status, such as John Cooper Clarke and Benjamin Zephaniah, hundreds are filling clubs and arts centres with their words. Performance poetry is not one genre. Some chant, sing and dance. Some stand rooted to the spot and stare. Some chat their way in and out of their poems like stand-ups. Some confess, some rage. Some play with words, some talk plain. The point is, it's live and in the moment.

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