Contemporary Poetry

Forget about the poems you may have been forced to read in school. Sometimes thought of as elitist and inaccessible, this vibrant form of expression can accompany you at every stage in life. Contemporary poetry has something to offer everyone. Poems are as varied and vibrant as novels, movies, songs and other forms of entertainment. Today, poetry is everywhere: on the subway, on your smartphone, on the radio, on social media and at readings and literary festivals around the globe.

Contemporary poetry is a means of expression for groups of people who have been oppressed and addresses important issues such as climate change, gun violence, intolerance and inequality. Today, poetry comes in many different forms. Text can be combined with photos, visual art, video, multimedia, music, etc.

"Contemporary poetry has something to offer everyone. Poems are as varied and vibrant as novels, movies, songs and other forms of entertainment."

Kent Neal

Contemporay poetry

Social Media

Considered by some to be the neglected stepchild of contemporary literature, poetry has gotten a boast in recent years from social media.

These platforms offer a new way to promote this age old literary genre. They are breaking down barriers between poets and readers by revolutionizing how you experience poetry while offering you the opportunity to interact directly with poets. It is another way to discover unknown or little known poets outside of traditional publishing. Instagram is an especially popular social network because it makes it easy to combine text and images. New terms have even been coined: instapoet, instapoetry.

Contemporay poetry


Slam is an oral form of poetry that was invented by Marc Kelly Smith, a construction worker in Chicago, during the 1980s.1
He wanted to take poetry out of its ivory tower and bring it to a mainstream audience. Slam sessions are competitions where poets can sign up ahead of time. When they are called on stage, they are allowed a limited amount of time (usually 3 minutes) to perform their poem.1 They are judged by a three- to five-person jury that grades them from 0 to 10.1 Slammers do not use accessories, costumes, music or props when they perform.1 Slam performances tend to be high energy and may address emotionally-charged issues. They have become popular around the world.
1. Encyclopedia Britannica. Slam Poetry: Performance Poetry. Accessed on July 7, 2019, at>

Contemporay poetry


Haiku is a poetic form that was invented by the poet Bashô in Japan during the 17th century. It has since been exported all over the world and written in many different languages.

Classical haiku is written in 17 syllables on three lines, with the first line containing five syllables, the second line seven syllables and the third line five syllables. In contemporary haiku, the number of syllables variés and few haikists count syllables today. The haiku is a juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated images and the resulting tension or irony between them. A haiku captures a moment in time. It is in the here and now. This poetic form is subtle and suggestive. With its small stature, it can easily be shared on social media in any language.