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Spoken word: poetry that speaks directly to teenagers

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Think poetry is boring? Think again. Frank Adarads introduces us to a thriving modern poetry scene taking the internet and music festivals by storm

It is easy to dismiss poetry as boring. Certainly until relatively recently, I was as guilty of this as anybody. But then I discovered something that made me realise this was a terrible mistake.

In his introduction to the Bloodaxe Anthology of Modern Poetry, Neil Astley writes that "a strong poem is not just for crisis. Such a poem is there for all times, helping us face or embrace daily change and disruption. It will also speak to us when nothing seems to be happening, when the poem's importance is helping us stay alive in the world and stay true to ourselves." Essentially, Astley is defining a 'strong poem' as something that helps us to find some kind of peace within ourselves in times of difficulty. But surely there are other art forms which resonate with the feelings that we have in the twenty-first century where the sonnets of great poets such as Keats or Wilde (at first glance) may not?

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