On the docket for the CAPTIVATE APAW conference where I'm giving a writing workshop is a workshop on Spoken Word.

Thinking about it, I realized, I have no idea what Spoken Word is. And in turning my paths more and more toward the Babaylan, I've come across and learned from healer and storytellers both, these being two of the primary babaylan tasks. But I realized that I can't assume Spoken Word and Storytelling (the performance kind, yah know Gerrison Keiller and the like) are the same thing.

*and the crowd yelled GOOGLE*

which revealed:

The definitions of a 16 year old APAW poet who says:

"SPOKEN WORD: Most younger people don't know what that is. It's like a mix of poetic words, music and hiphop. It's a movement and state of mind. "

while Wikipedia reveals:

"Spoken word is a form of literary art or artistic performance in which lyrics, poetry, or stories are spoken rather than sung. Spoken-word is often done with a musical background, but emphasis is kept on the speaker."

So there it is...Spoken Word is like the chanting of the babaylan, another form of storytelling. It's got the rhythm and the music.

That's really cool. Somehow I'm learning about babaylan without realizing it...


African Ambassador said...

hallo Rebecca nice work, i am an artist and more importantly a spoken word artist and alot more.i love your work, it is awesome. i am getting ready to do a workshop tomorrow on storytelling and i stumble on your blog. You are right spoken words can be viewed as storytelling especialy if there is a story or a cause and effect. I also love your poems. check out my websites www.myspace.com/annamwalagho and www.annamwalagho.com. thank you.

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...


Thanks for dropping by and letting me know about your work. If you are ever in the Seattle/Vancouver, BC area, please let me know. I'd love to catch your show and/or workshop.

Keep Truth Telling and Keep on Dancing the Dance