Performance poetry is a special type of poetry that focuses on performance rather than simply reading out a poem. Performers are encouraged to memorize their poems so that they can engage with the audience members more easily and make eye contact rather than simply staring at a piece of paper or the screen of their Smartphone.
As a result, performance poetry tends to be much more charged and vibrant than regular poetry readings. The poet themselves is usually the person who presents their work during performance poetry and they are able to provide actions that help to lift the performance to a whole new level and take the audience members with them on a journey through the connection of the spoken word.
Performance poetry can cover a wide range of topics and themes and these days nothing is really taboo. This gives poets the freedom to say virtually anything they like and express controversial topics and ideas in a way that stirs audience members and helps them to see the world through the eyes of the poet, if only for a few minutes.
These days, poets are not confined by the idea that poems have to rhyme. While rhyme is a good way of helping to generate the rhythm and flow in performance poetry, there are also several more contemporary ways of doing this. Some poets prefer to adopt a style that is similar to rap, which helps to connect them with a younger audience who might be turned off by other styles of poetry.
This is also a good time to try free styling, which is where the poet generally makes up what they are going to say on the spot. The poet may have a general idea of their theme, but the words that flow are spontaneous and can help to give the performance an exciting edge.