Spoken Word Poetry by Christian Speaker Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women

Today, I’ll share with you spoken word poetry examples and reveal the history of spoken word art, as well as the impact of poetry on my life. I’ll tell you about the spoken word poets who influenced me and give you a list of Atlanta open mic events. Also, hear about my open mic experiences.

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Spoken Word Poetry collection by Anna Szabo - spoken word poems and poets as well as open mic night atlanta events

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Introduction to Spoken Word Poetry

There are two aspects of spoken word poetry that need to be discussed when it comes to introducing this unique type of art. We first need to understand the definition and history of spoken word. We also need to know how I personally got involved with poetry at the beginning of my life in Russia during the reign of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.

I was born in 1983, right when the USSR was beginning to end.

But first things first, let’s answer this question: what are spoken word poems? Let me start by sharing some spoken word poetry definitions available out there in the web-world. Then, I’ll my own spoken word poetry definition.

I’ll then tell you about the history of spoken word art and share how I was first introduced to poetry, fell in love with it, and how I became a Christian poet.

RELATED: How I Became a Christian

My hope is that this blog post will educate, encourage, and empower you. I want you to use spoken word poetry as a creative outlet for voicing your point of view on various aspects of the human experience.

Poetry can help you share who you are with the world at large. It can allow you to tell your story your way.

So, what is spoken word poetry?

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What Is Spoken Word Poetry?

To help answer this question, I collected several definitions of spoken word poems. There are various different perspectives on what poetry actually is, and in my early years, I used to believe that poetry was what rhymes.

I don’t believe so anymore, though nearly all of my poetry does rhyme. That being said, I want to admit that many non-rhyming pieces I’ve heard, since I became a part of the Atlanta poetry community in 2019, are beautiful spoken word poems, despite their lack of rhyming.

RELATED: Encouraging Poetry

Without further ado, here are spoken word poetry definitions I found – followed by my own definition of spoken word art.

Spoken word poetry is a broad designation for poetry intended for performance. Though some spoken word poetry may also be published on the page, the genre has its roots in oral traditions and performance. Spoken word can encompass or contain elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, and jazz, rock, blues, and folk music. Characterized by rhyme, repetition, improvisation, and word play, spoken word poems frequently refer to issues of social justice, politics, race, and community. 

The Poetry Foundation

Spoken word is a type of poetry that is geared to be performed onstage for an audience rather than merely exist in print somewhere for others to read. It’s poetry that is meant to be shared.

Digital Poet

Spoken word is poetry intended for onstage performance, rather than exclusively designed for the page. While often associated with hip-hop culture, it also has strong ties to storytelling, modern poetry, post-modern performance, and monologue theatre, as well as jazz, blues, and folk music. Due to its immediacy and direct rapport with its audience, this type of poetry often contains references to current events and issues relevant to a contemporary audience. At its best, spoken word is a powerful, high-energy form of expression that attracts artists and audiences of all ages from a wide range of disciplines and socio-cultural backgrounds.

Urban Dsctionary

To reflect on the above definitions of spoken word art, I wanted to share with you this spoken word poem that expresses a very strong opinion on the shallow, social-media-obsessed culture we live in today and its impact on the modern world in terms of identity, relationships, and purpose.

Spoken Word Poetry Definition

Spoken word poetry is a type of art and includes forming, documenting, and sharing your personal point of view on a specific topic, expressed with your unique passion, perspective, and personality through writing, as well as oral performance (click to tweet this)

Anna Szabo

The above definition of spoken word poetry is my favorite. I created it for you to understand the substance and the intent of this unique type of art.

Let’s talk about the roots of spoken word poetry.

The History of Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word poetry has been a common way of having conversations with God for thousands of years. Often, I listen to Biblical poetry at night as my spiritual meditation, and I get so much out of it: awareness, wisdom, and breakthroughs regarding the various matters of my personal life.

RELATED: My Conversations with God

The poetic books of the Bible include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Songs of Solomon. They follow the 17 historical books that comprise the first portion of the Old Testament. Two of the books are written entirely in poetic form – the Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs, and Psalms.

Some American spoken-word poetry originated from the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, blues, and the Beat Generation of 1960s.

In France, artists such as French singer-songwriters Léo Ferré and Serge Gainsbourg made personal use of spoken word over rock or symphonic music from the beginning of the 1970s in such albums as Amour Anarchie (1970), Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971), and Il n’y a plus rien (1973), and contributed to the popularization of spoken word within French culture.

In the UK, musicians who have performed spoken word lyrics include Blur, The Streets and Kate Tempest.

In 2003, the movement reached its peak in France with Fabien Marsaud aka Grand Corp Malade being a forerunner of the genre.

In Zimbabwe spoken word has been mostly active on stage through the House of Hunger Poetry slam in Harare, Mlomo Wakho Poetry Slam in Bulawayo as well as the Charles Austin Theatre in Masvingo. Festivals such as Harare International Festival of the Arts, Intwa Arts Festival KoBulawayo and Shoko Festival have supported the genre for a number of years.

In Nigeria, there are poetry events such as Wordup by i2x Media, The Rendezvous by FOS (Figures Of Speech movement), GrrrAttitude by Graciano Enwerem, SWPC which happens frequently, Rhapsodist, a conference by J19 Poetry and More Life Concert (an annual poetry concert in Port Harcourt) by More Life Poetry. Poets Amakason, ChidinmaR, oddFelix Ayuk, Kormbat, Moje, Godzboi, Ifeanyi Agwazia, Chinwendu Nwangwa, Worden Enya, Resame, EfePaul, Dike Chukwumerije, Graciano Enwerem, Oruz Kennedy, Fragile MC, Lyrical Pontiff, Irra, Neofloetry, Donna, Kemistree and PoeThick Samurai are all based in Nigeria.

In Trinidad and Tobago, this art form is widely used as a form of social commentary and is displayed all throughout the nation at all times of the year. The main poetry events in Trinidad and Tobago are overseen by an organization called the 2 Cent Movement. They host an annual event in partnership with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest and First Citizens Bank called “The First Citizens national Poetry Slam”, formerly called “Verses”. This organization also hosts poetry slams and workshops for primary and secondary schools. It is also involved in social work and issues.

In Ghana, the poetry group Ehalakasa led by Sir Black, holds monthly TalkParty events (collaborative endeavour with Nubuke Foundation and/ National Theatre of Ghana) and special events such as the Ehalakasa Slam Festival and end-of-year events. This group has produced spoken-word poets including Mutombo da Poet, Chief Moomen, Hondred Percent, Jewel King, Faiba Bernard, Akambo, Wordrite, Natty Ogli, and Philipa.

In Kenya, there is an annual poetry slam.

In Israel, in 2011 there was a monthly Spoken Word Line in a local club in Tel-Aviv by the name of: “Word Up!”. The line was organized by Binyamin Inbal and was the beginning of a successful movement of spoken word lovers and performers all over the country.

Wikipedia About Spoken Word

Spoken Word Poetry In Russia

The reason why I am highlighting the history of spoken word poems in Russia is that its impact on my work today and who I am as a person is the most significant of all. I was born and grew up in Russia where I lived till my emigration to the United States of America in 2008 when I was 25.

There, I attended kindergarten and school, as well as graduated from three universities. Poetry was a part of my life growing up as much as air, water, and food.

Some common themes in my poetry today are sex, relationships, bondage with the past, identity confusion, and an overwhelming struggle with the meaning of life, aka hope.

While we’re on the topic of identity, grab my free ebook about your identity as a child of God: what God says about you.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

All of these are the common themes of Russian poetry, which you’ll see from the spoken word poetry examples I’ll share. That was what I read, memorized, and performed for a grade or awards growing up.

In Russia, spoken word poetry has always been a form of self-expression, self-entertainment during physically-intense labor, community entertainment during social gatherings, a way to reflect on culture as well as to document political history in the written opinions of the general population through poetry, and a tool for educating people.

I want to review the three common types of spoken word poems in Russia: chastushki, poetry, and toasts.

Chastushki

The most exciting form of Russian spoken form has always been chastushki, which are fun and often sarcastic short rhyming poems performed by either an individual or a group, accompanied by either balalaika or accordion. See some spoken word poetry examples of chasttushki below.

The latter video, for example, has a woman screaming in a way of singing: “Agh, where can I find a good husband who would not drink vodka and not sleep around?” and her spoken word rhymes.

These short chastushki reflect current social issues. I’ll talk more here about the issues of sex in the Russian spoken word poetry, reflecting the complex and complicated sex issues in Russian culture.

RELATED: My Sex Addiction Story

As you know from my blog, I was raised by adulterous alcoholics and I was an adulterous alcoholic myself. Drinking and sleeping around was a big cultural issue in Russia for generations, which Russian spoken word poetry reflects very accurately.

So far, we discussed chastushki as a type of Russian spoken word art.

Poems

Now, let me give you an overview of Russian spoken word poems types, all of which had a tremendous impact on my lifegrowing up and my style as a Christian spoken word artist today.

“Folk Poetry” in Russia was primarily an accent verse based on the equal number of stressed syllables in a poetic line. An example here is the work of Symeon of Polotsk (Symeon Polotsky).

The decline of the literary culture of old Rus’ gave birth to Modern Russian Literature based on the European model.

The preliminary tasks of normalizing the literary language and developing a system of versification appropriate to the Russian tongue was completed by about the 1760s.

Two schools of thought were current in the 1760s:

  1. Followers of Mikhail Lomonosov held that his system of “three styles” was the best standard for the literary language
  2. Followers of Alexander Sumarokov supported his use of the speech of educated persons as the standard, with the concomitant excision of elements (whether foreign or archaic) not commonly used by educated speakers.

The first such literary tendency was “Classicism,” also called “Neo-classicism,” or Pseudo-classicism. Its founder and main spokesperson in Russia was Aleksandr Sumarokov. The classic poetry of Gavrila Derzhavin became the embodiment of 18th-century Russian spoken word poetry.

That era was followed by “The Golden Age.” This stage was marked by the establishment of the classical norms of the Russian literary language. The main figure of the era, of course, was Alexander Pushkin. His poems are valued for purity and clarity, a wealth of vocabulary and ingenious simplicity.

The works of Pushkin influenced not only me but many generations of Russians, our culture, our values, and my entire journey of becoming a disciple of Jesus as well as founding this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. By the way, if you find my content helpful, consider supporting this ministry by making a donation now.

“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25

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The first third of the 20th century was called “The Silver Age” of Russian poetry. It was a period of creative freedom and experimentation. Beginning with decadence, the Silver Age opened Symbolism, Acmeism, Futurism, and many other literary circles and directions for Russia. The poets of “The Silver Age” began to abandon the classical syllabic-tonic principle, to experiment with the form and structure of poetry.

Such spoken word poets as Alexandr Blok, Osip Mandelstam, Boris Pasternak, Ivan Bunin, Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Akhmatova, Valery Bryusov, Velimir Khlebnikov, Marina Tsvetaeva, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Sergei Yesenin were the brightest stars of this era.

Those spoken word poets influenced my thinking, perspectives, dreams, and my understanding of life, relationships, and myself growing up.

The end of the 1920s marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of Russian poetry, which was called “The Soviet Period.”

On one hand, Russian poets of the Silver Age continued to create in the USSR (in parallel, an emigrant branch of Russian poetry arose). On the other hand, the ideological line in poetry began to gain strength, which affected not only the content of poems, but also their form: poets were required to be clear and simple, formalism was criticized, and literary experiments were subjected to ideological criticism.

That poetry filled with the Soviet propaganda is what I’m still bitter toward, even today as I’m reflecting on it in 2019 while living in America and being a free thinker.

That propagandistic poetry makes me feel so angry as I think back on what exactly we were forced to memorize as children and how it all affected me, my mom, my family, and our relationship (I’m estranged from my family).

RELATED: My Relationship With My Mother

Let’s continue discussing the history of spoken word poems in Russia. Chastushki, which I mentioned earlier, developed my sense of sarcasm and ability to sing out my mind through others’ spoken word poetry, which was the most common way my mother and grandmother communicated anything of importance, and I had to interpret what was “said” or most commonly sang to me.

I do not do sarcasm anymore, nor can I think witty passive-aggressive spoken word poetry impromptu as chastushki require.

Chastushki were also a type of entertainment used as we all labored heavily as a family on our various farms where my child labor was deployed regularly since I was about seven years old.

While I farmed, cooked for a huge family, cleaned, and did dishes, as well as laundry by hand in a bathtub not even having hot running water, I sang or recited poetry as the only available form of entertainment.

The Golden Age and The Silver Age poetry was the foundation of our school curriculum. All of us had to memorize, recite, perform, interpret, and write essays about Russian spoken word poetry – for a grade. But that was in grade school.

In elementary school and kindergarten, we were fed the propagandistic spoken word poems of The Soviet Era and at New Year’s parties, with Santa (Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter Snegurochka, where we as little Soviet kids were forced to recite ideological patriotic Soviet poems.

I believe that the requirement for children to memorize and recite spoken word poetry for a grade partly had to do with the Russian soul, which longs for poetry and singing, and partly with political propaganda of the Communist Party, which held the minds and lives of the Russian nation in bondage for 75 years.

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This realization made writing this blog post so difficult. To finish this content took me 12 days (and nights) because I chocked on tears so many times and had to process my anger, pain, sorrow, and grief realizing that what could have been for me and my family was forever destroyed by the Communists.

Living with all this was painful but writing about all this is unbearable. Yet, I know all things are possible through Christ, and so I write.

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I believe that poetry was a way to train our memory and develop our ability to perform with passion whatever it was that we had to memorize to continue spreading the sick ideological Soviet propaganda.

Starting in fifth grade, we were all trained on how to perform poetry. We had teachers-coaches to prepare us for poetry competitions. All poetry we performed was from the school’s curriculum controlled by the government.

I performed spoken word art in front of the government officials, on stage in front of the entire school, and for my family. I was used to performing spoken word poetry since I was five.

The stage at home was a stool for little Anna.

Here’s an example of how we were trained to perform spoken word poems. This Russian woman does a very good job demonstrating exactly what I was trained to do and how.

So far, we discussed chastushki and poems as the two types of Russian spoken word art. There’s also a unique type of poetry for drinking occasions typical to the Russian culture, and this art is called “Toasts.”

Toasts

The third most common type of spoken word art in Russia is what’s called “Toast.” A toast is a type of inspirational poetry memorized and performed during drinking parties as a reason to drink.

Nope, not kidding.

Russians commonly demand a toast each time a glass of alcoholic beverages is raised, and it’s typical to use the Toast opportunity to perform an in-advance memorized spoken word poem that expresses either future hopes or wishes of the speaker for whoever it is at the party drinking with them.

Below are some spoken word poetry examples for Toasts.

The first one I translated to English and it doesn’t rhyme but in Russian it does rhyme. All drinking spoken word poetry does rhyme in Russian.

Russian Drinking Toast Poetry

So your holiday has come.
And I want to wish you
Many happy days to live
And to never feel sad.

I wish your home to be filled with everything you need,
I wish for all who are dear to you to be well,
I wish for your friends to call you often and for your enemies to forget about you completely.

May your health never let you down!
May your soul sing as if it were always Spring!
Happy birthday!
I drink to the bottom for you!


Translation by Anna Szabo

Here’s what the Toast type of spoken word poetry looks like when performed at a drinking party in Russia.

In my family, Toasts were a must to know, memorize, and recite, and my mom had volumes of books of spoken word poetry Toasts, which she encouraged me to perform since drinking was as natural in my family as breathing and even more common than sleeping.

The adults in my family began serving me alcohol when I was five. When I was ten, my cousins (I call them sisters) and I were drinking pure alcohol from pharmacy.

When I was 12, my cousins and their three friends (a total of six girls) consumed multiple bottles of vodka at a Birthday party under the adult supervision of my aunt.

Yep.

To summarize, we reviewed the three types of spoken word poetry in Russia: poems, chastushki, and Toasts. We discussed the development of Russian literature along with its political influences, and I shared just a preview of what you’ll hear in great detail when it comes to the impact of Russian spoken word art on my family and my life today.

Now, let me share how I got introduced to spoken word poetry as a little girl in USSR.

How I Got Introduced to Spoken Word Poetry

My mom worked a factory job until the crush of USSR, after which she was a janitor and wanted the same path for me. I can undertand that after 75 years of brainwashing, with the crush of USSR, some people were also crushed, and I think my mom was one of the. I think she kind of gave up and never regrouped after everything they lived for was no more.

I was attending kindergarten during the day as a child.

I’d be brought in early, eat breakfast there, play outside with about 30 other kids under the supervision of one teacher, we’d have lunch, sleep, wake up, make the bed, eat, and play outside or inside till parents come and get us.

That was my typical day in kindergarten.

Boys and girls slept together in one room, each in their own bed, and I had many friends. One of them was Anna.

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Anna’s family was what was called “intellectuals,” and my family was what was called “working class.” Basically, my family members were mostly janitors, and her family worked professional careers at a university and in pharmaceuticals. My family condemned “intellectuals” due to the Soviet propaganda and called educated people “the bourgeoisie” and “the enemies of the people,” so our families basically were from two different planets.

My family rejected and hated me more as I became older because I was not interested in farming and pickling produce but my passion was for higher education, scientific research, creativity, and achievement.

READ ABOUT MY CREATIVITY

That was a great reason for them to bully me and label me “intellectualka,” “burzhuika,” “trader, aka predatelniza,” and so many other hurtful words, all birthed during the 75 years of the Soviet propaganda.

Now, back to my friend Anna. We had an unlikely friendship, to say the least. My memories of her family are warm and sweet, and their influence on my dreams of a better future cannot be overstated.

Memorizing Sex Poetry as a Child In Soviet Russia

Anna was very short, and I was very tall. She was called Nyusya, and I was called Nyura. Don’t call me Nyura though, ok?

I had only my mom, and she had both parents who stayed together till she finished school, after which they divorced.

My family had no education, and her family had graduate degrees. My family was obsessed with drinking, and her family was obsessed with thinking, reading, and learning – the kinds of things my family didn’t value at all and, in fact, condemn wholeheartedly.

My family despised thinking and prioritized heavy physical labor. They valued farming, cleaning, jarring, and pickling food for the winter, and doing chores, which were all manual, from laundry and dishes to heating up cold water for bathing the entire family.

Anything that didn’t involve physically-intense laborious work was considered laziness. Thinking about philosophy, complicated mathematical concepts, and evolution was called “schizophrenia,” and I was called crazy for my deep thinking and big dreams about changing the world.

My family members saw me as “the enemy of the people” and rejected me every day. Since I was six, I committed my focus and effort to education, and I graduated from four universities, which caused nothing but hatred within my family toward me, contempt, and rejection.

RELATED: The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Now that you understand the unlikely friendship Anna and I had, you’ll be able to comprehend the impact of what happened next.

Both Anna’s and my families were obsessed with sex: my family was open about it and just sleeping around, and her parents were cheating on each other secretly. My family had no means to go to hotels or expensive dachas outside the city, and her family had money, so sexual haze was not as obvious in their case. Both of us talked about sex since we were five.

Anna had the kinds of privileges I didn’t have: her dad had access to books and printed collateral not even available to the general population in Soviet Russia. Anna was the one who got me started on spoken word poetry that went beyond Santa and patriotic Soviet propaganda.

Here’s how it happened.

One day, in kindergarten, she taught me a pornographic poem from one of her fancy books, which I memorized very quickly since I was trained so well. As soon as I got home, I gathered my large family in the living room, got on a stool as my stage, and performed the fascinating spoken word poem for them.

They laughed so hard, but my mom never forgot it. She always told that story to everybody and their brother describing my overall character with that childhood incident

That was how I got into performing poetry on my own.

Memorizing, reciting, and performing poetry was forced on me much earlier than five years old though. I memorized poetry to recite it for Santa (Ded Moroz) at kindergarten events and community socials, which all Soviet children had to attend.

Anna from kindergarten wasn’t the only one in my childhood life who was obsessed with sex. My mom was consumed by her obsessive ideas about men, how I needed to grow up to be good at sex, that sex was love, and that the key to my happiness was being able to experience multiple orgasms.

RELATED: Sexual Adventures of My Family

If you watch the video here on the secretive sexual history of Russia, you’ll understand how brainwashed my mom was. I truly believe that she did the best she knew how to do in that chaotic era of confusion, which reigned for 75 years. Nevertheless, here’s what my home life was like with my mom who also molested me.

RELATED: Molested By My Mother

When I was still little, my mom bought a cassette player. It not only played the cassettes but recorded voice sound, too. It was such unheard-of innovation! I remember how one afternoon, the family gathered together in my mom’s bedroom and interviewed me for the cassette recording, asking me whom I wanted to marry, telling how I needed to make boys like me, and asking me to perform poetry, which I did.

I was five.

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That recorded and replayed over and over again for years conversation influenced my identity, what I thought about, how I perceived myself, and the meaning of poetry to me personally.

My takeaway from that voice-recording experience was this: memorize poetry to be noticed, perform poetry to win attention, poetry about love and sex always wins with mom. I also learned that all I neede to think about were boys, and that marriage was the goal of my existence.

I went on to memorize many love poems to perform spoken word poetry at drinking parties with my friends and family.

That all stopped when I quit teaching at school.

Yes, I am a teacher with a graduate degree in education, and I taught at school for five years, until I couldn’t make the ends meet anymore.

Then, I went to business and forgot all about poetry. I valued numbers, ROI (return on investment), and KPIs (key performance indicators), so poetry in my mind was fog and fluff that had no real-life value. Poetry was not at all a part of my thinking, being, or socializing from 2003 to 2017. Exactly 14 years of a break from poetry.

Imagine my shock when in March of 2017, broken by The Narcissist husband, going through our second divorce in eight months of marriage, depressed and suicidal, I woke up at 4 am the day before our divorce mediation, with a poem dwelling in my headspace…

That is how I began writing my own poetry for the first time in my life. Today, my poetry collection includes over 100 pieces of spoken word poems.

RELATED: My Spoken Word Poetry Collection

That was a brief overview of spoken word art in Russia, its impact on me growing up, and how I got involved with poetry.

Now, I want to focus on the substance of poetry that influenced me. To give you a hint, the most common topics of Russian poetry we studied in school were sexual passions and patriotic loyalty.

To understand what the spoken word I was taught to memorize and perform was about, you need to first understand the context of the political situation in which I grew up and how that political regime brainwashed the entire nation.

Communistic Political Propaganda Through Spoken Word Poetry

Russia as a country has a long history, and understanding its history is essential to being able to comprehend the impact of spoken word poetry on me as a human being, as an artist, as a poet, and as a minister here at Online Discipleship For Women.

By the way, my ministry is here because of the donations of people just like you. If you find this blog is valuable, consider supporting this ministry by making a donation now.

A Brief Overview of the History of Russia

800 - Slavic people migrate into the area of the Ukraine.

862 - King Rurik rules the region from the city of Novgorod. The people are known as the Rus.

882 - King Oleg moves the capital city to Kiev.

980 - The kingdom of the Kievan Rus expands and grows in power under the rule of Vladimir the Great.

1015 - Yaroslav the Wise becomes king. The Kievan Rus reach their peak in power. A written code of law is established.

1237 - The land is invaded by the Mongols. They destroy much of the region's cities.

1462 - Ivan III becomes the Grand Prince of Moscow.

1480 - Ivan III frees Russia from the Mongols.

1547 - Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, is crowned the first Tsar of Russia.

1552 - Ivan IV conquers Kazan and extends his kingdom.

1609 - The start of the Polish-Russian War. Poland invades Russia.

1613 - The Romanov dynasty begins when Michael Romanov is elected Tsar. The Romanov dynasty will rule until 1917.

1648 - The Salt Riot occurs in Moscow over the introduction of a salt tax.

1654 - Russia invades Poland.

1667 - Russia and Poland sign a peace treaty.

1689 - Peter the Great becomes tsar. He will establish Russia as a world power introducing reforms and creating a standing army.

1700 - The start of the Great Northern War with Sweden.

1703 - Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.

1713 - Saint Petersburg becomes the capital of the Russian Empire.

1721 - Russia wins the Great Northern War gaining territory including Estonia and Livonia.

1725 - Peter the Great dies and his wife Catherine I reigns as Empress of Russia.

1736 - Start of the Russo-Turkish War against the Ottoman Empire.

1757 - Russian troops join in the Seven Years' War.

1762 - Russia leaves the Seven Years' War with no territory gained.

1762 - Tsar Peter III is assassinated and his wife Catherine II takes the crown. She will rule for 34 years in what will be called the Golden Age of the Russian Empire.

1812 - Napoleon invades Russia. His army is nearly destroyed by the Russian winter weather.

1814 - Napoleon is defeated.

1825 - The Decembrist revolt occurs in Saint Petersburg.

1853 - The Crimean War begins. Russia eventually loses to an alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, and Sardinia.

1861 - Tsar Alexander II launches reforms and frees the serfs.

1867 - Russia sells Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million.

1897 - The Social Democratic Party is established. It would later split into the Bolshevik and Menshevik parties.

1904 - Russia goes to war against Japan in Manchuria and loses badly.

1905 - The Revolution of 1905 occurs. Around 200 people are killed on Bloody Sunday.

1905 - Tsar Nicholas II is forced to accept the October Manifesto allowing for a parliament called the Duma.

1914 - World War I begins. Russia fights on the side of the Allies. Russia invades Germany.

1917 - The Russian Revolution occurs. The Tsarist government is overthrown. The communist Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin take control in the October Revolution.

1918 - The Russians exit World War I with the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. They give up Finland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and the Ukraine.

1918 - Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks. The "Red Terror" begins as Lenin institutes communism. The Russian civil war erupts.

1921 - Lenin announces his New Economic Policy.

1922 - The Russian Civil War comes to an end. The Soviet Union is established.

1924 - Lenin dies and Joseph Stalin becomes the new leader.

1934 - Stalin's Great Purge begins. Stalin eliminates any opposition and up to 20 million people are killed.

1939 - World War II begins. Russian invades Poland in an agreement with Germany.

1941 - Germany invades Russia. Russia joins the Allies.

1942 - The Russian army defeats the German army at the Battle of Stalingrad. This is the major turning point in World War II.

1945 - World War II ends. The Soviet Union controls much of eastern Europe including Poland and East Germany. The Cold War begins.
Soviet Missile in Red Square

1949 - The Soviet Union detonates an atomic bomb.

1961 - The Soviets put the first man in space, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs as the Soviets place missiles in Cuba.

1972 - Detente begins as U.S. President Richard Nixon visits the Soviet Union.

1979 - The Soviet-Afghanistan War begins. The Soviets have little success against the Afghanistan rebels. They leave in 1989 defeated.

1980 - The 1980 Summer Olympics are held in Moscow. Many countries boycott the games including the United States.

1985 - Mikhail Gorbachev is elected General Secretary. He institutes freedom of speech and openness of the government (Glasnost) as well as a restructuring of the economy (Perestroika).

1991 - The Soviet Union is dissolved. Many countries gain their independence. The country of Russia is established.

2000 - Vladimir Putin is elected president and re-elected again.

2008 - I left Russia forever and emigrated to America.

So, the Russian Empire was ruled by the various tsars, churches were built, custom traditions were established, it was an Orthodox, highly-religious country, which was destroyed by Communism at the beginning of the 20th century, including the burning and bombing of Russian cathedrals (or turning them into movie theaters). God was never talked about, and talking about God was prohibited.

Russian Orthodox religion is performance-based, and lots of boxes must be checked for you to even be worthy of just walking into a Russian house of worship. That formed many Russian religious values, which were the foundation of the double-standards and complete cultural confusion, devastation, and despair as the sexual revolution erupted under the leadership of the Soviet regime, influenced by the sexual liberation ideas of Alexandra Kollontai.

Rape by 1920s became an epidemic in Russia.

Sexual violence toward former noble and bourgeois women was considered “class justice” among the proletarian men. New laws on marriage and the overall atmosphere of breaking with the past encouraged promiscuity and casual approach to sex.

That was when my grandma was born.

She is still alive in her 90s, though we never knew her real actual age because she always lied about it. She ran away from her mother very young and never told the truth about anything in her life.

I can only imagine where our family dynamics had begun, because just a generation later, her granddaughter ran away from her to a whole other country, and a few years after that, her other granddaughter also ran away to America forever. You’re now reading that granddaughter’s blog.

There’s not much I know about how my grandma raised her daughters, except out of four of them, only three survived, and my mom was the oldest of the three survived daughters.

My mom was most definitely the scapegoat to my grandma the same way I was a scapegoat to my mother who cherished my cousin Vika and called her “my favorite daughter.”

I described the details in my posts about abuse in my life.

MY BLOGS ABOUT ABUSE

My grandma always pretended to be perfect, and I think that’s why my mom was so brainwashed as well. My mother has always lived and still lives with her mother. My mom now is almost 65 years old, and she never ever left her birth home. She always served grandma and betrayed me for her sake many times, which was quite problematic when I was a little innocent girl standing up to this whole family completely alone.

My grandma was something else…

Soviet society during my grandma’s youth was breeding a dangerous generation of homeless orphans – official reports indicate that, by 1923, half of the children born in Moscow had been conceived out of wedlock, and many of them were abandoned in infancy.

My grandmother was ashamed of me because I was born out of wedlock, and she demanded that I do not talk to her in public or call her “grandma.” For the record: we lived in one small condo together all my life in Russia, for 25 years. Imagine the confusion I experienced! But that was the direct result of her being brainwashed by the Soviet propaganda. She was a confused, untruthful, angry, and violent woman.

Now, back to the sexual revolution in Soviet Russia, which I think is how my grandma was able to run away from home since all women at 17 at the time became the property of the Communist Party.

That sexual revolution was over by the time my grandma was married. The government changed its mind!

Soviet leaders did not want the population to squander its energy on self-gratification anymore. Sex education was banned in school. Every book said: “There’s no sex and no God in our country”. Women’s rights groups were in decline, and the women themselves were being brought back into the kitchen, having to cook for the worker husbands.

That was what my grandma hated.

She hated to cook and clean, and guess who was exploited? Yes, her older daughter, my mom.

That was all my mom knew, she never got married, never left the little condo where she was born, I was born, and every family member was born… My mom was trained and conditioned to be a household slave for my grandmother’s sake. And guess who else was trained that way? Yep, yours truly. But that exploitation didn’t last long with me. It only took a few years for me to grow up and learn to stand up for myself and then I showed them.

I was born in January of 1983, eight years before the crush of USSR. Every book in print said during my early years: “In our country, there is no God and no sex.” It’s about to get even more confusing from here on, but let’s go back to my grandma for a moment.

My little short grandma was the violent matriarch of the family, physically abusing my tall and handsome grandfather regularly.

Grandpa was the only kind person I knew growing up. He was the only man in my life as a child.

Grandmother was pretentious, judgemental, and cruel. She was a bully that I can’t imagine having around me today. She tried to kill me one time by choking me, and I still remember her hand squeezing my little neck as she is lifting me, pushing me up the wall, looking me straight in the eye waiting for me to die… I’m not surprised my mom was the way she was.

RELATED: My Narcissistic Mother Forced My Suicide

So, here was my grandma raised by a traditional family under the reign of a Tsar in highly-religious Orthodox Russian Empire, entering her youth during Soviet sexual revolution, which ended as abruptly as it started when grandma was about married, and then every woman had to go back to the kitchen and cook, clean, do laundry, which my grandma hated, so she exploited my mom for all that. Then, came two other daughters: both grew up drinking and partying, and their older sister, my mother, took care of everything for everyone all the time.

My mom never dated, she believed she was ugly, she didn’t have men romantically pursuing her ever, and after her sisters had babies, I guess, she was desperate.

She was in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Sergey, aka my father, who was a super-young guy, always in trouble, and spent almost his entire adult life in prison.

One day, my mom went to visit him while his legs were broken. He stayed with his mom in a condominium building close by. My mom got on top of the guy, had sex, got pregnant, went to abort the baby, wasn’t able to, and gave birth to… me.

Here I was: unwanted, born out of wedlock, from a young dude who already had kids all over Russia, and who frankly had nothing to do with my mom whatsoever.

I was hated by the whole family. Grandma hated me before I was even born because she was ashamed that her oldest scapegoat daughter got pregnant unmarried. My ants hated me because my father was never my mom’s boyfriend and my existence was just so odd to them, to say the least.

So, here I was, growing up as the USSR was coming to its end, the iron curtain was crushing, and pornography was beginning to overwhelm the unsuspected minds of already-confused Russian society.

I can absolutely understand why and how my mom became obsessed with teaching me about men, sex, orgasms, anal sex, oral sex, and the art of seduction.

Related: My Obsession with Seducing Men

The pornographic books and films she addicted me to were likely her way of expressing her oppressed and suppressed sexuality through her daughter who just happened to be me.

Mom was disappointed by my virginity and demanded I get “it” going, which I did at 16. She encouraged me to sleep around and have orgasms for me and for her, that’s what she’d always say to me.

She addicted me to alcohol, and she hated my desire for education. She wanted me to get pregnant, have a daughter, and live my happily-ever-after in that same condo with her, her mom, her sister, me, and all of our other family members.

Unfortunately for her, I had a different vision for my future.

Today, we have no relationship because over the years, since I emigrated to America, any conversation my mom ever had with me had to do with men, sex, and the need for me to come back to Russia to have sex with Russian men.

How was all this justified?

Do you really want to know?

Ok. Are you ready? Here it comes…

“Our country needs new children born, Anna, and there aren’t enough men for all the women, so for the sake of our country, you must be willing to have sex with other women’s husbands, that is how our great country can go on. So, don’t be selfish, Anna, go and please our amazing Russian men who protect Mother Russia and remember that the future of our entire country depends on your openness to having sex with all Russian men. Be open-minded, Anna, be simpler, be kind, don’t be selfish, Anna, go have sex, men need you, and your country needs you, too!” – my mom.

For decades, sexuality and erotica were completely shunned by the Soviet government after the initial sexual revolution in the 1920s, and our Russian society became extremely hypocritical about sex.

How my grandma lived and what she said was not the same, and my mom was affected by it, though she tried to please her mother all her life.

The next Russian sexual revolution took place in the 1990s, and I became its product, having slept with dozens of men, walking around half-naked, dancing strip in various beauty pageants, and becoming an alcoholic in the meantime.

The decades of first pro-sex and then no-sex propaganda by the Soviet leaders, who reigned in Russia for 75 years, brainwashed my poor mom to the point of insanity. As I grew up and became my own person, my mom never did, she was only filled with hatred and jealousy toward me more and more, but she never decided to grow up and become free.

She was a slave in the kitchen, on the farm, and in her headspace, and she never was able to think on her two feet, which is why we can’t have a relationship.

Early in my life, I was also enslaved to serve my matriarch grandmother and her entire family through intense physical labor, but by the time I was 12, after I had survived two suicide attempts, dealing with me was difficult for the family members, because I became extremely rebellious, angry, rude, and fearless. Whoever tried to violate me was in for a big fight. I defended myself from that family mentally, verbally, and physically.

At that point, the deployment of my child labor lessened, while the pressure on my sexuality increased. At 12, I started my period, and my mother demanded babies from me. When I got pregnant at 17 from a random guy, she was so excited, and I was so scared, that I miscarried. I was never pregnant after that.

Now that you know about the details of the everyday environment in which I grew up, you won’t be surprised how come sexual promiscuity was the foundation of spoken word poetry in Russia along with the propaganda of the only true love being lifelong loyalty to Mother Russia.

The Impact of Spoken Word Poetry on My Life

The impact of spoken word art on my life has been significant and exceeded just my initial comprehension of it as I started writing this blog post for you.

I can see now how poetry influenced my thoughts, words, mindset, lifestyle, and not only then, but now, too.

So, let me share the breakthroughs I’ve had regarding the influence of spoken word poetry on me and my life.

Spoken Word Poems Helped Me Understand My History

Writing this blog post has been hard for me. For many years, I had tried to drink away the pain caused by all of this haze and confusion, I slept around and partied to avoid thinking about this hot mess.

But God is a healer of hearts and minds, and He called me to ministry. So, I’m writing all this content to show you His great plan and miracles He performed in my life. I hope that my testimony will encourage and empower you and help you on your own journey.

RELATED: My Testimony

The issues I discuss here are deeply-rooted and very hurtful. The impact of these complex social problems on my family and my mom, as well as me and my relationship with my mom, my sisters (cousins), and my family has been unimaginably damaging. Being estranged from my family is not my preference, it’s a necessity for my mental health. Yet, I’m sad about the situation.

The sorrow I feel as I’m processing what happened to my country, my history, and my family is indescribable.

I’m sad and I’m angry.

But I’m healing and forgiving every day.

Spoken Word Art Helped Me Discover My Unique Voice

I don’t have many childhood pictures because my mom owns them but I do remember pictures of me performing poetry as a little girl with a big bow.

Anna Szabo as a Soviet child performing soviet spoken word poems for New Year wearing a fox costume

While the poems I was performing weren’t mine, I did learn public speaking, and I’ve been speaking publicly for over 30 years now. I’m 36. It’s a great skill to have. I’m an introvert but I’m very outspoken and not at all shy, thanks to my public speaking adventures since such a young age.

This talent helped me in school, in college, and in universities. It opened many doors for me as I was invited to do scientific research during my college years and got to speak at local, regional, national, and international conferences.

I won many awards for my research and public speaking, I graduated with high honors from every school, except in America.

In 2013, I graduated with an MBA from Georgia State University with a 3.74 GPA after teaching myself English in 1.5 years listening to Frank Sinatra.

When in 2017 I began writing my own poetry, I was depressed and suicidal due to long-lasting mental cruelty endured from my Narcissist husband.

RELATED: Narcissistic Relationship Abuse

As I exploded with poetry the morning before our divorce mediation, it was all the unspoken pain that was coming out in words helping me voice my pain and suffering. It was not only the suffering from that man’s abuse. It was all the suffering I shared with you here. It was me being fed up with mental cruelty and bul..it women endure all over the world because of our childhood conditioning.

When in 2019, this year, I started attending open mic Atlanta events and perform my poems, I found my voice and was able to develop it. It’s a gift that has no price. It’s a priceless gift of my own voice as a woman.

I have a voice, and I share my experiences, opinions, perspectives, insights, wisdom, and suffering through my own spoken word poetry. It’s indescribable.

My voice is my tool to reaching the nations on God’s behalf, and when I look at my podcast analytics and see the long list of countries where people listen to my Christian podcast for women, I see how God is using my voice to share the story of His glory.

God used poetry to give me my voice.

Spoken Word Poetry Helped Me Tell My Story My Way

For many years, I was silent. My mom always told me that I had the best life any child could have had. She told me that she was a wonderful mother. I was called crazy and shamed for not being grateful for her giving me a chance at life. She’d tell me how she went to abort me and that she can take my life the same exact way as she gave it to me. I didn’t know until my twenties that my right to life was inherent, natural, and unalienable. My mother persuaded me that I was forever indebted to her for being born and being kept alive. The abuse I endured was portrayed as true love.

My story is complicated. It’s complex. It’s painful. It’s shocking. It’s overwhelming. It’s unbearable. My story makes me feel suffocated from sorrow and sadness.

Drinking my story out of my mind was much easier than becoming aware of it for decades. Shopping my story away, traveling it away, exercising it away, and clubbing it away was easier for me than facing my story.

I remember sitting at a Sex Addiction Therapist’s office on a couch covered in pillows. She asked me if I ever grieved. I laughed. I told her I was fine and there was nothing for me to grieve… I was so naive and so ignorant.

Feelings didn’t exist in my world because I was scared of them. I was afraid of being alone with myself, so I had addictions to save me from my own company.

RELATED: My Sex Addiction Story

That worked well, until it didn’t. To deal with my addictions, I spent 365 days of holidays alone at home, 600 days of no dating, and I learned to face my feelings.

RELATED: a List of Feelings

I even wrote an article about it on LinkedIn as I was spending Christmas completely alone at home: Spending Holidays Alone Is Good For You.” When I hit the rock bottom and reached my limits running away from myself, I came to the end of my super-powers and there, on the bottom, I met Jesus.

RELATED: Who Is Jesus?

He healed me, one day at a time. He is healing me daily. I need Jesus daily. When I opened my heart and mind to healing, spoken word poetry started pouring to help me tell my story my way, and my addictions disappeared.

Spoken word poems I write come from deep within. They arrive at once. I always feel like I’m giving birth, struggling, and boom, a poem is here.

These are the rivers of living water flowing from the Holy Spirit in me, just as John 7:38 describes.

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within her.

John 7:38

Telling my story my way helped me face my giants.

Through prayer, crying, writing, weeping, grieving, and poetry, I was able to process my story appropriately. And I’m no longer afraid of what happened to me. I’m not scared of myself or my story.

I’m free.

Here’s my story by the topics of your interest.

Anna Szabo’s Story

16 Feelings Spoken Word Poetry Elicits In Me -  by Anna Szabo about Poems From God

How Spoken Word Poetry Makes Me Feel: 16 Genuine Emotions Poetry Elicits In Me

  1. Sad. When I read, write, or listen to autobiographical and painful life stories told through poems, I feel sad. And I’m glad. Sadness is a good feeling to experience. It means I’m fully human. I was always happy and detached. I now call it being maniacally-joyful. That’s a mental state of people who are so detached, they can’t feel anything other than positivity, which is a mask to help them not get emotionally crushed if they were to look at their story and process it for real. That therapist I mentioned earlier warned me that I needed to learn how to feel sad instead of angry, she said my addictions were due to a lot of unprocessed anger, which is covered up unresolved sadness. She told me the only solution was for me to allow myself to feel sadness. And she was right… I love crying these days and I encourage all women to feel genuinely sad, cry, weep, and grieve in a timely manner. With my tears and sadness, my addictions dissolved. I believe that sadness and genuine self-pity are the only way to true joy.
  1. Enraged. When I read, write, or hear via poetry performances what kind of experiences some people have lived through, including my own life story, I feel rage stirred up on the inside. The injustice, the pain, the abuse people endure makes me angry. Yet, I know that God is good, though He does allow adversity, and so I open my heart to poetry and allow my human soul to feel the just rage. And I write, and I perform… and I see people in my audience cry… and I know that I am a human, connected with all humans through our human experience, which sometimes rocks and sometimes sucks, yet it’s awesome to be a human, be alive, be connected… through poetry.
  1. Liberated. When I write and perform my spoken word, I shake, I cry, and I feel like flying. I feel liberated from the bondage of silence. I feel free. I feel liberated from maniacally-joyful, happily-pretentious lifestyle, and now I can be real, be me, be vulnerable, and be connected with humans on the level of soul and heart, which is so profound and so awesome.
  1. Free. When I share my poems, I feel free. I’m free from the bondage with my abusers. I’m free to share my story my way. I’m free to encourage and empower women. I’m free to speak up and be no one but me. I am free to live my life and serve my God. I’m free.
  1. Passionate. When I write spoken word poems, I get lost in the universe. Time doesn’t exist, I don’t need to eat, drink, or pee, I just write for hours. One day in October of 2019, I walked into my kitchen to make breakfast in the morning, and a poem came to me, and then another, and another… When I was done, I was still standing at the kitchen counter getting ready to have breakfast, only it was deep night, and I haven’t even moved all day. That is passion. When I perform spoken word art, I lose myself in the eyes of my audience as I watch tears run down their faces. I feel passionate and alive.
  1. Overwhelmed. When I write poetry, I feel sick, tense, and suffocated. When I memorize my poetry, I feel tired and I want to run away and hide, because my stories are so painful and overwhelming. But when it’s memorized and I share it with an actual live audience, I feel grateful as I see what God is doing in me and through me via poetry.
  1. Surprised. When I write spoken word poems, I’m always shocked by how come I write these beautiful pieces that change people’s thinking and lives. When I perform poetry, I’m shocked by how come I make this much impact on people in God’s world. And my voice performing my poetry is so strong and powerful, I never can believe how the woman I’m watching afterward on the recording can possibly be me. I know this all is the living water from the Holy Spirit.
  1. Excited. When I think how blessed I am to no longer have to recite the poems forced on me by the Soviet government, memorizing their propaganda, but I now have my own collection of poetry to share with the world, I feel excited. I’m excited to live my life and be me and share my journey my own way, without being brainwashed by anyone regarding my experiences, thoughts, or identity.
  1. Scared. When I write poetry, scary truth about my life, thoughts, past, and ideas comes out. Sometimes, I’m also scared of the truth others share about their lives, values, past, and thoughts through their poetry.
  1. Purposeful. When I go into the world and share my spoken word poetry, when I observe its influence on the minds and hearts of my audiences, I know my life has purpose and meaning. I’m living it out as a poet, as a minister, and as a child of God.
  1. Grounded. When I was always-happy and maniacally-positive, I was detached from reality and disconnected from people’sexperiences, feelings, and lives. My poetry is so multi-faceted today, because I’m grounded, real, and multifaceted! My poetry is angry, sad, joyful, depressed, suicidal, hopeful, grateful, loving, faithful, rebellious, and real. It’s real. I feel like a real human walking firmly on the ground, I have wisdom and understanding of life and God and myself and people… It’s such a blessing! It’s so much better than pretending to be happy all the time. People trust me with their real-life stories as I share my real poetry, and I feel a real human connection to other real humans on a deep soul-level instead of a shallow, drinking or hook up level. I love being grounded, vulnerable, and real.
  1. Mindful. When I began writing poetry, my soul, heart, and mind opened up to my present, my surroundings, my lifestyle, my friendships, and the mindfulness I’ve experienced through my spoken word art gave me insights and wisdom. I value all the special things revealed to me through my journey as a poet.
  1. Peaceful. Writing and performing my spoken word feels like a storm, but afterward, I always feel such serenity, peace, contentment… I know that everything that happened to me was to equip and prepare me for God’s ministry, and it is well with my soul.
  1. Joyful. When I look at what God had has done in me and through me using my poetry, I rejoice. God is an artist, not me, but through Him, I am an artist, too, because the rivers of living water flow now from deep within me, all because of Jesus.
  1. Unique. When I was a Soviet kid, we all had to be the same. We wore the same uniform, the same everything. But I wanted to be unique. As I grew up, I tried so many things to help me feel unique and special. But it was all vanity. Poetry, my own poetry, written from my heart, performed in front of audiences by me, my own way – that makes me feel truly unique (and grateful).
  1. Connected. Below, you’ll see a video from Cafe Rothem. It’s my recent performance. After I was done, I got back to my table, and a woman grabbed my hand and said that my poem was about her mother. She’s also Russian. She wrote me a card, which I keep close to my heart to remember how connected my spoken word art makes me feel with real humans.

Here’s a picture of me with 272 braids when I didn’t know how to feel. Today, I just use my List of Feelings to help me process life. And I write spoken word.

RELATED: a List of Feelings

Anna Szabo with colorful braids in Kursk Russia in 2008 when she was Anna Ermakova

Now you know everything when it comes to the impact of spoken word poetry on my life: what kind of spoken word art I grew up with, why it was so, where I learned and performed it as a young Soviet child, and how the substance of that poetry influenced me as a person.

So, who are the poets whose work I cherished then and appreciate now? Let’s talk about it next, and we are going to start with the most impactful poet ever: Maya Angelou.

Spoken Word Poets Who Influenced Me

Maya Angelou is a woman I truly resonate with. She was raped, and so was I. Early in her 20s, she made money as a high-end prostitute, and so did I. She was a drug addict, and I was an alcoholic. She was pregnant at 17, and so was I. I consider her a woman of faith, felicity, and fortitude, and I myself strive to be that as well.

Her poetry makes me cry, laugh, think, reflect, and praise God. Many spoken word poets influenced me, but the impact of Maya Angelou is by far the most significant and lasting on my adult perspective when it comes to life.

Russian Spoken Word Poets Who Influenced Me

I told you my story of growing up with poetry since I was a little girl. Those Soviet propagandistic kids’ poems I won’t be sharing here.

Let’s start with Pushkin.

Alexander Pushkin‘s poetry was not only what we had to memorize at school, but what I also loved with all my heart. I performed his poems for a grade, yes, but also I performed them for awards in college because I wanted to. Today, I hardly speak Russian but I can recite the Letter of Tatyana to Onegin in my sleep.

I performed this spoken word poem with a beautiful scarf wrapped around my shoulders dozens of times in Russia as a teen.

This literature taught me that sexual temptations must be verbalized, with passion, in writing, and a woman’s fate is to beg a man for attention, as well as to condemn herself. So, I was like that.

"Tatyana's Letter to Onegin" Alexander Pushkin

I write this to you - what more can be said?
What more can I add to that one fact?
For now I know it is in your power
To punish me contemptuously for this act.
But you, keeping for my unhappy lot
Even one drop of sympathy
Will not entirely abandon me.
At first I wished to remain silent;
Believe me, my shame, my agony,
You never ever would have heard.
As long as hope remained preserved
That rarely, even once a week,
I'd see you in our country house,
To hear your voice, to hear you speak,
To say a few words, and then, and then
To think, and think, and think again
All day, all night, until the next meeting
 
But it is said you are unsociable,
And in this backwater all is tedious to you,
While we… well here we shine at nothing,
Although we're glad to welcome you.
Why did you come to visit us?
In this forgotten rural hom
Your face I never would have known
Nor known this bitter suffering.
The fever of inexperience
In time (who can tell?) would have died down,
And I'd have found another lover,
Dear to my heart, to whom I'd be true,
And a loving wife, and virtuous mother.
 
Another!… No, no one on this earth
Is there to whom I'd give my heart!
That is ordained by highest fate…
That is heaven's will - that I am yours;
My life till now was but a pledge,
Of meeting with you, a forward image;
You were sent by heaven of that I'm sure,
To the grave itself you are my saviour…
In dreams you have appeared to me,
Though yet unseen, I held you dear,
Your glance and strangeness tortured me,
To my soul your voice was loud and clear
From long ago… It was not a dream!
You came, and I knew that very instant,
I was struck dumb, my heart flared up,
And in my thoughts said "He is the one!"
Is it not true? I heard you often:
In the silence did you not speak to me,
Both when I helped the poor, and when
With prayer I sought to ease and soften
The pain inside my anguished head?
And at this very moment, is it not you,
Oh sweetest, lovely vision who
In the night's transparency flits by
And quietly nestles by the bed's head?
And you, who with love and rapturously
Whispered a word of hope to me?
  
Who are you, my guardian angel?
Or a wily devil, a tempter fatal?
Disperse these doubts, this agony.
Perhaps all this is nothingness,
A foolish mind's self-aberration,
And something other is fate's decree…
So be it! Whatever my destiny,
To you I give it from this day,
Before you the tears roll down my cheek,
And your protection I beseech…
For consider: here I am alone,
No one understands what I say,
My reason tortures me every day,
And silently I am doomed to perish.
You I await: With a single glance
Revive the hope that's in my heart,
Cut short this heavy dream I cherish,
Deserving, I know, reproach and scorn.
I finish - I tremble to read it through,
With shame and terror my heart sinks low,
But your honour is my guarantee
And to that I entrust my destiny.


Translation by Pushkin Poems

Anna Akhmatova‘s poetry book was my go-to on a sunny Summer day when I wasn’t deployed by my family to labor. I remember sitting outside my home on a bench and reading. From her poetry, I learned that true love is abusive and desperate. It was exactly what I observed at home, too: yelling, screaming, bullying each other, saying mean things to intentionally hurt one another, and, of course, threatening suicide to manipulate your loved ones. That was what I got from reading this book and living with my family members for 25 years.

"My Hands Clasped" by Anna Akhmatova 

My hands clasped under a veil, dim and hazy…
"Why are you so pale and upset?"
That’s because I today made him crazy
With the sour wine of regret.

Can't forget! He got out, astound,
With his mouth distorted by pain...
I, not touching the railing, ran down,
I was running to him till the lane.

Fully choked, I cried, “That's a joke --
All that was. You get out, I'll die."
And he smiled very calmly, like stroke:
"It is windy right here -- pass by."


Translation by Poetry Lovers Page

Sergei Yesenin was a household name. His books in my home were read in volumes. He only lived for 30 short years but was married four times and had fathered children all over Russia with many women. He was worshipped by my mom and my literary teachers. Adultery was romanticized and monogamy was condemned. I learned from these poems that “soulmates” are temporary and people must love many partners, then move on. So, I went on to marry and divorce three times, and I had six weddings with my three ex-husbands. Yes, I said six, yep. That’s in part the impact of Sergei Yesenin, as well as all other influencers I shared with you above. He died by suicide at 30, which caused a wave of suicides among women in Russia.

"I Remember, My Darling, I Remember" Sergei Yesenin

I remember, my darling, remember
All the shine of your hair flowing.
Not a joy was and not a light weight
Was my leaving you, with a great sorrow.

I remember the autumn nights though,
And the birch's rustle of shadows,
Though days then were short in a row,
Moon was brighter and longer in glow.

I remember - you said as the gospel:
"All the blue years will turn to end,
And one time you'll forget me with another girl,
You'll forget me forever, my friend."

Now, a linden tree caused a remembrance
Of my previous feelings, of all
The nice flowers, which I with tender
Strewed at your glistening hair curl.

Yet today my heart is not cooled either,
Loving other girl, I'm in a sorrow.
As a love story my heart's reminding
You and your love, forever all's gone.


Translation by Poem Hunter

Marina Tsvetaeva‘s poetry was my favorite. It always reminded me my mom and aunts who all had many lovers and brought them home. They were all married men. I read, memorized, and performed this spoken word poetry when I was still a virgin. But after poetry no longer mattered to me and I focused on business and money, I did go on to have many sugar-daddies all of whom were married men.

"I Like That You are Crazy Not With Me" by Marina Tsvetaeva

I like that you are crazy not with me,
I like that I’m not with you crazy, either,
That ne’er the heavy planet’s globe will be
Drifting away under our feet, quite easy.
I like that one might funny be and brave,
And free-behaved – and not to play words, rather,
And not to blush with choking a wave,
At easy touching just a sleeve another’s.

I thank you with my hand and all my heart
For loving me (that you don’t even know!),
For the sweet peace, I own in the night,
For the scarce meeting in the eve’s fast flow,
For our not-walking under the moonlight,
For our not-standing under the sun’s glow –
That not with me – alas – you lose your mind,
That not with you – alas – I lose my own.


Translation by Poetry Lovers Page

Alexandr Blok‘s poetry was something that resonated with me because I endured a lot of suffering from a very young age and attempted suicide twice. This specific poem is really heavy and refers to the meaning of hope: why live, why care, why teach youth any wisdom when life, basically, sucks, and overall the experience of living is a fatal tragedy? I was able to survive my devastating life at home and managed hope until my first-ever depression in 2016 when I became severely suicidal and saw no meaning in living anymore. Those ideas were introduced not only by Blok but by my mom, too. She threatened me with suicide when I was little and as I grew up, before I became a teen, she encouraged me to commit suicide.

"How Difficult to Wander In the Crowd" by Alexandr Blok 

How difficult to wander in the crowd
Pretending every day to be alive,
Recounting to the not-yet-living
The passions' tragic play.

And, peering into nightmares,
Find order in disordered swirls of feeling,
So that by art's anemic glow
They recognize life's fatal fire.


Translation by RuVerses

Nikolay Nekrasov‘s poetry taught me much, especially hopelessness and bitterness, but, most importantly, that love is hatred and hatred is love. That was very well reinforced by my mother who voiced the same kind of wisdom to me, only she added violence to it. Haplessness and hatred – that wass what I learned from this spoken word.

"Shut Up, Muse of Revenge and Sorrow!" by Nikolay Nekrasov

Shut up, muse of revenge and sorrow!
I don’t want to disturb someone else’s dream.
You and I cursed plenty of everything.
Alone, I am dying, and I am silent.

Why agonize and mourn the losses?
If only this made things easier!
I despise my heart's groans,
Like the creak of a prison door.

The whole thing is over. By rain and thunder
The sky makes my path darker for a reason.
The sky does not brighten over me,
Does not throw a warm ray into my soul.

The magic ray of love and rebirth,
I called upon you - in a dream and in reality,
In labor, in struggle, at on the edge of giving up
I called upon you - but not anymore.

I wouldn’t like to see the kind of darkness,
Which you could possibly illuminate.
The heart that is tired of hating
Will never learn how to love.


Translated by Anna Szabo

Mikhail Lermontov‘s narcissistic poetry taught me that using one person to fulfill your needs while actually dreaming of someone different was totally ok. Just like “I Like That You are Crazy Not With Me” by Marina Tsvetaeva, his poem below taught me that we must settle with at least someone, just so we don’t have to be alone, but we need to put down that person with all our might, while passionately obsessing about someone else.

"It's Not You Whom I Love With Passion" Mikhail Lermontov

No, not with you I fell in love so fast,
And not for me your beauty is succeeding;
I love in you my suffering preceding,
And youth of mine, that perished in the past.

And when sometimes my look is long and hard,
And penetrates your eyes of high perfection;
I'm busy with a secret conversation,
But not to you I send my words of heart.

To my youth's girl, my word of soul flies,
In features yours, I seek for other dears,
In lips alive -- the lips, so mute for years,
In eyes -- the flame of the extinguished eyes.


Translated by Poetry Lovers Page

The Russian poetry that influenced me was sexualized, filled with Communistic political propaganda, and implied that love is hateful and cruel. It taught me a promiscuous lifestyle as a young Russian woman, lack of boundaries, unrealistic expectations in relationships, and absence of any self-respect whatsoever.

Other Spoken Word Artists Who Influenced Me

When poetry started making its way back into my life in March of 2017 and I became a poet, the following spoken word poets impacted me, the way I view my work, myself, and my poetry’s influence on my community.

Maya Angelou‘s poetry taught me true vulnerability, how to open my heart about my life, let my dignity wow others, show people God’s glory through my story, reveal what He delivered me from, and how He repaired my broken identity, as well as heart. Her spoken word performance taught me that my work must be memorized and not read from a cell phone screen. I’ve learned from her how to respect myself as a poet and let my art do its work while I’m sharing it freely, joyfully, passionately, opening my heart and inviting people in, so that they can experience me and God.

Jefferson Bethke‘s spoken word art taught me what it means to live out a story of God’s glory. He was the first person I saw speaking openly about sex addiction and Jesus, which is my story, too. His openness about loving Jesus and not being religious gave me a green light, in a sense, because it mirrored my own beliefs that at the time I didn’t know how to even begin explaining. I believe in Jesus, who is about love, and not in religion, which is about law. I believe in Jesus, who is about grace, and not in religion, which is about performance. Now, I share about it openly, too.

Jon Jorgenson‘s spoken word videos influenced my own spoken word performances. I was timid and actually genuinely intimidated at first. I was freaked out about the very fact of being a poet, which I became “out of the blue,” it seemed to me. I was freaked out about the extraordinary quality of my poetry which impacted my audiences. But with time and prayer, I stepped into my super-powers as a Christian spoken word artist and began performing my poetry publicly with the same passion I learned from Jon.

Maia Mayor‘s “Perfect” showed me that the daughters of narcissistic mothers suffer globally. I’m not the only one “damaged” by my narcissistic mother, it’s an international struggle, and seeing this spoken word performance made me feel so connected to the hearts and souls and minds of other women who endured unimaginable narcissistic abuse from their mothers, like I did. Maia’s poem and performance gave me permission to cry when I share my poem called “Identity,” and so I cry, while performing my poetry, I cry, and women come to me afterward telling me how much my poetry impacted them, and I’m grateful to be a poet, to cry, to feel, and to help other women understand and embrace their stories of abuse.

Taz Alam‘s vulnerable spoken word videos helped me experience the impact of a poet’s open heart. Her poems about confusion, depression, anxiety, and identity revealed to me once again that we are all alike, and human suffering is all-inclusive. Everyone’s life sometimes rocks and sometimes sucks, and we gotta talk about real life to encourage one another instead of pretending that life is filled with happiness and unicorns.

The above spoken word poets influenced how open I’m willing to be with my poetry in public, which at first terrified me but later became my power.

I see that God gave me a huge bag of talents to multiply, to use it for His kingdom, to comfort His people, to share the Gospel, and so I’m honored to be a poet, though I was scared of this sudden addition to my identity at first.

I’m honored to be a poet. I’m just shocked how come no one ever noticed that I had any potential for this kind of art. I spent 22 years in school, and no one even once asked me to write a poem of my own.

So, I want to share with you my poem called “I’m a Poet,” which summarizes the impact of spoken word poetry on my life then and now.

"I’m a Poet" #PoemsFromGod

I’m a poet.

I spent 22 years in school, got 4 university degrees from 2 countries,
And no one even noticed:

I’m a poet.

Never did I think about this, never did I want it, 
But poetry did want me.

I’m a poet.

How did you start writing? Where did you learn it? They ask me.
I didn’t. Poetry learned me.

I’m a poet. 

God has placed His word in my heart and mouth. 
This is not my doing. This is His work through me.

I’m a poet.

The morning before my divorce, He woke me up at 4 am and gave me a poem.
God revealed my identity in Christ to me in the form of a poem. 

I’m a poet.

In the midst of a broken marriage, broken heart, and broken life, God gave me a poem.
The rivers of living water will flow from deep within you - God said.
And He made me a poet.

So... I’m a poet. 


7/17/19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Poems about God by Anna Szabo for Christian Women - a Purple Mug with Spiritual Poems #52Devotionals

Spoken Word Poetry Examples

Spoken word poetry is exciting, intriguing, and diverse. After being active in the poetry community for a year and performing at Atlanta Open Mic Night events, I realized something very important for YOU to know: no two poems are alike, no two poets are alike.

I’ve seen poets who can’t memorize their own poetry (I certainly used to be one of them because my poetry is kind of complex, I think) and I’ve seen poets who go on for 20 min reciting one of their poems with passion in such a way that changes everyone in the room.

I’ve seen spoken word poems that don’t rhyme (and I even created one) and I’ve seen poetry that rhymes perfectly. I’ve seen poetry that is filled with anger and with love, with despair and with humor, but I have never seen a poet or a poem that is filled with indifference.

So, all poetry comes from the depths of a human heart. All poetry is valuable, though I could have argued about this one a few months back when I had found myself stuck at a spoken word poetry open mic night in Atlanta with a featured poet reciting from the book he wrote about his d…ck.

It was extremely vivid and por…ographic, yet, as I later realized in conversations with my mentor, there was tremendous value in that guy’s spoken word poetry for my Christian discipleship ministry content.

So, all poetry is valuable.

BLOGS ABOUT MY POETRY

Actually, I’ve learned a lot about our culture and history from attending open mic Atlanta events. I’ve lived in America since 2008 and I really don’t differentiate between white, black, yellow, and whatever other colors of people.

All people are equally precious to me.

That’s why when I emigrated here, I couldn’t understand the racial wars. But from attending Atlanta open mic nights, which are highly dominated by the African-American population, I’ve learned what people here in the South have been through, how it affected them for generations, why they feel the way they feel, and where I fit in, which is the role of an appreciative observer. I don’t get involved in racial wars that are common in Atlanta.

Many white people get offended or scared from the rage expressed through spoken word poetry by black people toward white people, but I never take those experiences personally because those feelings were not provoked by me.

So, I encourage everyone to listen to poetry from the perspective of the poet’s experience and feelings, not from the perspective of an evaluator and judge.

I know some people listen to my spoken word poetry about abuse and comment: “Oh wow, look at her, she says ALL narcissists are men, she’s this and that and the other!” That is ignorant. I write poetry about my personal narcissistic abuse experience, I am a woman, the narcissist was a man, and my poetry reflects my personal experience as a female narcissistic victim with a narcissist male.

So, to conclude, I want to encourage you to be open-minded and observant, not ignorant and judgmental if you truly want to enjoy spoken word poetry.

I personally have written poems about abuse, poems about domestic violence, poems about God and even Satan, positive poems, depression poems, and love poems, of course.

Let me share with you a few spoken word poetry examples from my own collection. Below, you’ll learn how to access my entire library for free.

“Forgiveness” by Anna Szabo

"Forgiveness" #PoemsFromGod 

Forgiveness is a lifelong journey.
It's a decision to set people free
From the debt of offense they owe you,
Issuing them an intentional debt-free decree.

The beneficiary of that decree though is not them -
It's your heart that experiences liberation
From anger and bitterness as you no longer condemn,
So issue people the forgiveness decree with no hesitation. 

Forgive people often or daily or even hourly.
Decide to quit taking the resentment poison.
Commit to letting go of grudges sincerely 
And move light-heartedly toward your new horizon. 


8/26/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Forgiveness Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod  framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

“Marriage” by Anna Szabo

"Marriage" #PoemsFromGod

Marriage is a covenant and a forever-union,
Made by God to last for eternity.
It's a creation of an ongoing communion,
Where each is led by God to achieve maturity.

Marriage is a daily hard-work commitment 
That requires selflessness and intentional sacrifice,
Challenges us to give each other Biblical treatment,
Encourage one another at our own ego price.

Marriage calls us to love unconditionally,
To give continuously and not to expect anything,
To be close friends it calls us, additionally, 
And in the process - to God cling.

Marriage is a journey toward Godly holiness,
It's a pursuit of one another along with Christ.
And because marriage daily exposes our brokenness,
We can't do it without remembering Jesus' sacrifice.


8/30/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Love Poems about Marriage by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod  framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

“Empowering Women” by Anna Szabo


"Empowering Women" #PoemsFromGod

Empowerment is a concept of persevering,
No matter what life offers to you at times.
It's a decision to refuse fearing
Narcissistsabusers, and executors of other crimes.

Empowerment is the antidote to violence.
It's a way of saying: "No more from now on!"
It's the path to get you beyond survivance 
To where you can thrive and finally move on.

I myself need empowerment daily. 
And I support other women to share empowerment.
Sometimes, from abuse we can even think barely...
And no one can help us, not even the government.

Police, courts, judges, jurors, and attorneys
Get deceived by our abusers often times.

When there's no help on our survival journeys,
Empowerment is the only way to confront crimes.

Get empowered from knowing who you are in Christ!
He loves and accepts youHe made you a masterpiece.
To liberate you, His life was sacrificed.
He set you free so you can be from abuse released. 

Raise up! Speak up! Stand up for yourself!
Get empowered and empower others!
You are worthy of the love of Jesus Himself!
So, take no more of this abuse nonsense!


10/14/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Spiritual Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod Empowering Women Inspirational Poems

I published my entire collection of 100+ inspirational poems about God, poems to God, inspirational poems, depression poems, love poems, Christian poems, spiritual poems, mental health poems, poems about domestic violence, forgiveness poems, and so many other topics – all absolutely free, available exclusively on this blog, and here’s a list for your convenience.

Simply click on the title to enjoy any spoken word poem.

100 Spiritual Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod Including Love Poems, Depression Poems, Christian Poems, and Conversations with God

“Poems from God” Collection of Poetry

  1. “I Am Your Princess” 3/6/17
  2. “I Trust You With My Troubles” 3/6/17
  3. “Focusing on The Future” 3/7/17
  4. “Proverbs 31 Woman” 3/8/17
  5. “I’m Surrendered To Thee” 3/10/17
  6. “Failing Forward” 3/10/17
  7. “Going Into The World and Telling” 3/11/17
  8. “Prayer vs Prozac” 3/12/17
  9. “When Satan Comes at You Looking Saint” 3/20/17
  10. “Unconditional Love” 4/2/17
  11. “To Michel Szabo” 4/30/17
  12. “Knowing The Bible vs Knowing God” 5/6/17
  13. “My Husband’s Birthday” 7/11/17 
  14. “The Sunflower Day” 7/15/17
  15. “Self-Care” 7/20/17
  16. “Lord, I Need You” 7/23/17
  17. “God, I Praise You” 7/29/17
  18. “I’m Grateful for Your Special Grace” 7/30/27
  19. “I Need Your Love” 8/2/17
  20. “You’re Always Good” 8/6/17
  21. “I Love You, God” 8/6/17
  22. “God’s Peace” 8/10/17
  23. “God, I Admire You” 8/16/17
  24. “Your Plan Is Always Perfect” 8/16/17
  25. “To Believe or Not To Believe?” 8/18/17
  26. “Jesus’ Calling and Presence” 8/21/17
  27. “How To Love” 8/23/17
  28. “What Love Is” 8/23/17
  29. “Praying for My Husband” 8/23/17
  30. “Forgiveness” 8/26/17
  31. “You’re Leading My Walk” 8/27/17
  32. “Dear Stacy” 8/29/2017
  33. “Marriage” 8/30/17
  34. “The Purpose of My Life, aka Suicide” 8/30/17 
  35. “Standing on God’s Promises” 9/12/17
  36. “My Life is Such a Gift” 9/14/17
  37. “Loving My Husband” 9/15/17
  38. “My Husband for a Reason” 9/16/17
  39. “Looking Back Into The Future” 9/18/17
  40. “The Truth” 9/19/17
  41. “Feeling The Feelings” 9/24/17
  42. “God, What Do You Think About Me?” 9/28/17
  43. “Dear Anna Szabo” 9/30/17
  44. “Empowering Women” 10/14/17
  45. “Loving The Narcissist” 10/16/17
  46. “The Narcissist’s Ego Is Fragile” 10/16/17
  47. “Feelings” 10/17/17
  48. “The Narcissist Is Jealous” 10/17/17
  49. “The Narcissist Is a Chief Deceiver and Liar” 10/17/17
  50. “The Narcissist Manipulates You Intentionally” 10/18/17
  51. “The Narcissist Is Confused About His Identity” 10/19/17
  52. “The Narcissist Is Eager for Approval” 10/19/17
  53. “The Narcissist Gaslights You” 10/20/17
  54. “The Narcissist Projects His Faults On You” 10/20/17
  55. “The Narcissist’s Silent Treatment” 10/20/17
  56. “The Narcissist’s Reptilian Stare” 10/20/17
  57. “The Antidote To Narcissistic Abuse” 10/20/17
  58. “Crying Out To God” 10/25/17
  59. “Prayer for Prosperity” 11/7/17
  60. “Anxiety Relief Prayer” 11/22/17
  61. “God’s Presence Everywhere” 11/26/17
  62. “Forgiveness Affirmations” 1/26/18
  63. “Signs of Depression” 2/5/18
  64. “Depression Symptoms” 2/5/18
  65. “Am I Depressed” 2/5/18
  66. “Depression” 2/6/18
  67. “Depressed”2/7/18
  68. “What Causes Depression?” 2/7/18
  69. “Depression and Anxiety” 2/9/18
  70. “How To Deal With Depression” 2/9/18
  71. “How To Help Someone With Depression” 2/9/18
  72. “Natural Remedies for Depression” 2/10/18
  73. “How To Not Be Depressed” 2/10/18
  74. “Scriptures for Depression” 2/10/18
  75. “Dear Emily” 2/26/18
  76. “No Aspiration, No Motivation” 3/12/18
  77. “Gratitude” 5/5/18
  78. “Blessings” 5/5/18
  79. “Mind Over Matter” 9/18/18
  80. “Joy” 9/19/18
  81. “Perseverance” 9/21/18
  82. “Narcissistic Mother” 10/6/18
  83. “Drive Safely” 10/12/18
  84. “The Lodge” 12/14/18
  85. “Leadership” 2/12/19
  86. “Career” 2/12/19
  87. “Sophisticated Marketer” 2/12/19
  88. “Failure” 4/23/19
  89. “People” 4/24/19
  90. “Domestic Violence” 4/26/19
  91. “Identity” 4/27/19
  92. “Anna Szabo Art” 5/29/19
  93. “Prayer for Organized Thinking and Personal Initiative” 6/6/19
  94. “Prayer for Relief from The Past” 6/6/19
  95. “No One Can Define You” 6/13/19
  96. “Faith” 7/13/19
  97. “Prayer for Ministry” 7/16/19
  98. “Narcissistic Mother Hates Her Daughter” 7/17/19
  99. “I’m a Poet” 7/17/19
  100. “To My Spiritual Sister” 7/24/19
  101. “Abiding In Christ vs Living In My Own Power” 7/29/19

Poems from God have been a gift not only to me personally but to many people around the globe:

Frequently Asked Questions About Spoken Word Poetry

How To Read Poetry


To read poetry, you need to first understand the author. If you don’t know the author’s biography and life story, it’s hard to read poetry. Each poet writes in a way that reflects her personality, temper, character, ethnic and cultural background, speed of speaking, tone of voice, and life experiences.

To read poetry, you also need to understand and respect punctuation, otherwise, you’ll get confused quickly. You need to recognize the structure of poetic sentences to be able to figure out each full thought of the author.

To read poetry, you need to empty your mental cup of prejudices and open yourself to an intimate interaction with the poet whose poem you’re trying to read. Each poem is an experience, be open to it.

How To Understand Poetry


To understand poetry, you need to understand its author, the structure of the sentences in which she writes, her use of punctuation, and her personality. Understanding the author’s personality is critical if you want to comprehend the meaning of her poetry: is this sarcasm or sorrow she is experiencing, is this a true-life event or id this her imagination, is this her being angry or sad?

Knowing the author helps you understand the meaning of her poetry.

How To Interpret Poetry


To interpret poetry, you have to first know the context in which a poem you’re trying to figure out was written. You must comprehend the cultural, ethnic, political, demographic, geographic, and mental influences on the poet at the time of writing that specific poem.

To interpret a poem, you must know the life events taking place in the life of a poet at the time that poem was birthed. No spoken word art can be interpreted accurately out of context.

How To Write Poetry


How to write spoken word poetry is not a topic of my expertise because I had never set out to write poetry, ever in my life, at any age. I never wanted to be a poet. But poetry wanted me, so it invited itself into my life.

Here’s my advice on how to write poetry: be open to yourself and others about all of your life experiences and their impact on your heart, mind, soul, mental health, life perspectives, and identity. Don’t try to bake a poem, instead, invite emotions to show up and be presente with your emotions 1:1 silently, be mindful of their influence on you, and start writing about what happened in your life.

Poetry is personal. Unless, of course, it’s propagandistic, then, it’s baked and it’s bad. Personal poetry is impactful and transformative. Write about your own life experiences, feelings, thoughts, and passions. Write about both your suffering and joy. Be vulnerable.

How To Memorize Poetry


To memorize poetry, I write it out in my phone’s notes, then by hand on index cards using multi-color gel pens, I voice-record my poetry and play it back to myself while also speaking it out loud at the same time, I practice and practice and practice. And then, I practice again.

How To Recite Poetry


To recite others’ poetry was not hard for me. I was taught it from a young age, and I did it very well. To recite my own poetry is extremely difficult because it’s extremely personal and painful, and I often cry while performing. It’s normal.

To recite poetry, you must first memorize it, see my previous answer on how to do that. Then, you must open your heart and mind to your audience completely, you must share the poem looking them in the eye, with emotion and passion and sorrow and anger, inviting them to feel with you whatever the content of the poem you’re citing.

To recite poetry in an impactful way, you must step out of your ego and become a messenger who is there to deliver a special message in a way that transforms hearts and minds. You must not worry about what people think. You must give your all to delivering your poem in such a way that helps your audience be one with you for the duration of your performance. You must abandon your fears of being judged and give yourself away completely to your audience, poring your entire soul out and not holding back on anything. Emotion is what you must elicit.

Submit Your Spoken Word Poem for Publishing

I Can Publish Your Spoken Word Poems Here If You Send Them With Proper Grammar and Punctuation

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Christian Spoken Word Poetry

Christian spoken word poetry is a way of speaking to God, hearing from God, reflecting on God’s story, sharing personal testimony, spreading the Gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ), and drawing others closer to God.

RELATED: Who Is Jesus?

Here are some of my Christian poems about Jesus, marriage, salvation, gratitude, God’s promises, the joy of the Lord, and the peace that passes all understanding.

Christian Poems About Jesus

"Lord, I Need You"  #PoemsFromGod

Lord, I need you every hour, every moment of every day.
I need your guidance, your mercy, hold on to me tight.
I need you to never let go of me as I pray.
I need you to lead me, to renew me, to help me stay humble and kind. 

Every morning I start with my list of gratitude, God.
Every day I realize my weakness and your strength in it.
Every moment I reach out to you because I never forgot,
That I need you... Without you I've already reached my limit. 


7/23/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod Lord I Need You framed poetry for Prayer Hallway
"You’re Leading My Walk" #PoemsFromGod

You came near when I called you, 
And you said to me: “Do not fear.” 
You took my right hand and walked with me,
And though all my trials you've always been near. 

You comforted me and encouraged,
You gave me discernment and wisdom,
You showed me your infinite mercy and grace,
While leading my walk through your kingdom. 


8/27/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Poems to God by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod you're leading My Walk framed poetry for Prayer Hallway
"Abiding In Christ vs Living In My Own Power" #PoemsFromGod

Lord, you’re my eternal leader and guide.
In you every day I wholeheartedly abide.
I obtain, observe, and obey your Word.
It’s my heavenly strength and my spiritual sword. 

Lord, on my own, I feel wicked and weak.
I get selfish and drift: worldly comfort I seek.
But in you, I feel purposeful and Spirit-driven.
I use wisely the talents in advance to me given.

Lord, you’re my vine and I am your branch.
I want to bear fruit but my journey is strange.
I don’t understand it and frankly resent it.
I can’t comprehend it. So, I condemn it.

Lord, do I trust you? I trust you, indeed!
You’ve always been near and fulfilled my each need.
But my future is foggy. It is unknown.
I want for my future to me to be shown.

Lord, I am scared of what future might hold.
What if my life will as tragic unfold?
I want to know future. I want to control it.
I want to impact it. I want to uncoil it.

Lord, it’s impossible for me to be you.
So, I surrender whatever I knew!
You give me peace, joy, and contentment.
You take away my childish resentment.

Lord, I abide in you. I abandon my own power.
I discover your plan daily. Your Word I devour.
You reveal yourself to me, Lord, undoubtedly.
I surrender my control to you and live astoundingly. 


7/29/19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Poems To God by Anna Szabo - i Abound in Hope Christian Apparel for Women #52Devotionals

Christian Poetry About Love

"Unconditional Love" #PoemsFromGod

Unconditional love is not easy.
Unconditional love is hard work.
Unconditional love is soul-cleansing.
Unconditional love is responsibility, not a perk.

Unconditional love is the opposite of ego,
Unconditional love is a selfless gift,
Unconditional love is exciting and intriguing,
I'm always curious to see what else God enables me to give.

To love unconditionally, we must practice,
We must remember Christ and His sacrifice,
We must choose kindness when ego attacks us,
We must give without expectations - ego is love’s price. 

And when we fail at it often or seldom,
We must reach out for God's grace,
And start all over, being intentional and not random,
And just remember why we decided to love in the first place


4/2/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod Unconditional Love framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

"What Love Is" #PoemsFromGod

Love is not a temporary feeling.
Love is a commitment and a behavior choice.
Love is a mindset of intentional healing.
Love is that kind and patient inner voice.

Love allows for acceptance and forgiveness.
Love allows for plenty of mistakes.
Love is an action, it's courageous and fearless.
Love never fails and never forsakes.

Love always honors and does good to others.
Love is selfless and expects nothing in return.
Love perseveres, even when it suffers.
Love is a skillset we perfect as we learn.

Love is a privilege for those who experience it.
Love is a journey and a special pursuit.
Love is challenging but it is resilient.
Love is the first and foremost of the Spirit fruit. 


8/23/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Love Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod What Love Is framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

"How To Love" #PoemsFromGod

You asked us to love one another.
You taught us the details of love.
Instructions you gave us are thorough,
But knowing them isn't enough.

To love one another with kindness
Means dying to flesh every day
And also surrendering our blindness,
While choosing in Spirit to your word obey.

To love one another with patience 
Acceptance requires and yielding,
And selfless forgiving in all situations,
In prayer each other uplifting.

You told us that love is not proud,
Not arrogant, it's rather humble,
And so you requested each other we honor,
In hope persevere we, when stumble.

Your orders of love are high-maintenance,
But trusting in you, I surrender.
I'm learning to love with kindness and patience
To glorify you in your splendor. 


8/23/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Love Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod how To Love framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Christian Wedding Poetry

"Marriage" #PoemsFromGod

Marriage is a covenant and a forever-union,
Made by God to last for eternity.
It's a creation of an ongoing communion,
Where each is led by God to achieve maturity.

Marriage is a daily hard-work commitment 
That requires selflessness and intentional sacrifice,
Challenges us to give each other Biblical treatment,
Encourage one another at our own ego price.

Marriage calls us to love unconditionally,
To give continuously and not to expect anything,
To be close friends it calls us, additionally, 
And in the process - to God cling.

Marriage is a journey toward Godly holiness,
It's a pursuit of one another along with Christ.
And because marriage daily exposes our brokenness,
We can't do it without remembering Jesus' sacrifice.


8/30/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Love Poems about Marriage by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod  framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Christian Easter Poetry

"I'm Grateful for Your Special Grace" #PoemsFromGod

We often ask in desperation 
If you are actually always good:
Some Bible verses cause frustration,
Their meaning is misunderstood.

We wonder if a good, good Father
Who promised numbering our hair,
Protecting us, promoting further
Can actually cause us such despair.

These days I'm studying you closely,
By trials I now am refined.
On grace my mind is focused mostly -
Your common grace and special kind.

You give your common grace to many,
No matter lifestyle or belief,
By meeting basic needs of any
Policeman, president, or thief. 

But there's also special blessing
You give to some with special grace - 
Divorce, or cancer, or depressing
Brain tumor, or a stalking case.

The loss of child to a shooting,
Or jumping off a building top,
Or drugs addiction, prosecuting,
Or taking pills at school workshop.

Or being pregnant with dead baby,
Or being homeless for a while,
Enduring violence, rape, or maybe
Surviving workplace that's hostile.

Can really be that, God, your kindness
And goodness, tenderness, and grace 
Are all our own naive and blindness,
And other view we must embrace?
 
But asking this, I look back closely
On one example of my life:
Domestic Violence
, despair mostly,
Enduring beatings, threats, and strife.

It wasn't pretty at the time,
But looking back, I see your purpose - 
You drew me to you through that crime,
To my salvation that was service.

Another instance is divorce
With man who lured me into marriage
.
Not anything you would endorse
Yet, you worked that to my advantage.

You grew me, pruned me, rid me of
My flesh, my anger, and resentment,
Replacing them with skills to love,
With joy, with peace, and with contentment.

So, God, can actually I agree
That you are good and your will's perfect?
I know my trials you decree,
But from the pain I always profit.

I gain awareness, I gain gifts
Of faith, and hope, and perseverance,
On you rely I as life shifts.
I trust your holy interference.

I trust your word. I trust your plan. 
I trust your truth and your commitment 
To use for good my one lifespan 
And bless me with a royal treatment:

A party in your daughter’s name,
A feast with Jesus in His glory,
Saluting reasons why I came -
My messed up life and troubled story.

In mess, you drew me close to you,
Revealing purposefully your goodness,
You made me like a baby - new.
You gave me heaven and fresh pureness.

You've taught me grace, you've taught me love,
Acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness.
About you I've learned enough
To be, with Jesus, strong and fearless. 

I claim you're good. I claim you're my
Protective, loving, caring Father.
I hurt from pain, I can't deny
But through tough times you've grown me further.

I thank you for your special grace,
I thank you for each gift and blessing, 
I thank you for this broken place
,
From which your goodness I'm professing.  


7/30/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Christian Thanksgiving Poetry

"Gratitude" #PoemsFromGod

Life is an incredible journey of growth and learning.
Having realized it, I begin with gratitude every morning. 

Giving thanks for all my blessings is very healing.
This one habit changed completely the way I’m feeling. 

The fear I used to experience was replaced with calmness.
The anger I used to feel was replaced with warmness.

The depression I was suffering from was replaced with joy
As my mind to its full capacity I’ve learned to deploy. 

When my mind is filled with gratitude, I can’t feel fear.
Thoughts of gratitude prevent anxiety and keep my mind clear.

Dwelling on my blessings leads me to experiencing genuine joy.
Practicing gratitude every day, I can finally my life enjoy. 


5/5/18 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
"The Sunflower Day" #PoemsFromGod

God, thanks to you for life of beauty.
Thanks to you for blue, clear sky.
Thanks for gifting us with duty
To honor you, follow, obey, and glorify.

Thanks for healthy air we're breathing,
Thanks for all the gorgeous trees,
Thanks for the flowers we can be admiring or seizing.
Thanks for the hard-working and all-important bees. 

Thanks for kayaks, thanks for rivers,
Thanks for trails and mountain hikes,
Thanks for all the joy sun gives us,
Thanks for running and for bikes. 

Thanks for healthy ears and vision
Thanks for moving arms and legs,
Thanks for your abundant provision,
Thanks for promoting us beyond just plebs.

Thanks for making us your special children,
Thanks for giving us your gorgeous world,
Thanks for gifting us blessings a million,
Thanks for every sunflower that today danced and whirled. 

Thanks for happiness and pleasure,
Thanks for purpose and for cheer,
Thanks for love that I so treasure,
And every smile it brings and every tear. 

Thanks for people, friendships, mentors,
Thanks for guiding us with Word,
For every person who into my life enters,
Brings wisdom and with kindness enriches my world.  


7/15/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Navy Blue Christian Apparel for Women I Have peace #52Devotionals by Anna Szabo
"God, I Praise You" #PoemsFromGod

God, I praise you with my words and thoughts.
Glory to you for all your goodness! 
I'm in awe to see blessings lots!
I reach out to you for life's fullness.

Satisfaction comes from finding grace.
You reveal the path in the Bible. 
For your truth and wisdom I shout praise!
I worship you, experiencing clarity revival.

God, I praise you for the good and the bad.
For all my trials and tribulations. 
I praise you when happy and when I'm sad,
For both my accomplishments and frustrations. 

I praise you at night and when I'm eating,
When driving or walking or going to bed,
When cleaning, cooking, and when I'm reading,
And in the morning - for the day ahead.

I praise you, God, it's my act of worship.
I feel your love and I'm soaking in it.
Getting to know you is like courtship:
The closer you draw me, the more I commit. 


7/29/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod God I Praise You framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Christian Poetry for Christmas

"Standing on God’s Promises" #PoemsFromGod

Life is a series of seasons,
With moments of sorrow followed by happy moments.
To question God we have many reasons,
Especially, when facing some devastating disappointments.

Sometimes, we question God's very existence,
Or just His presence in our lives.
We may confront the idea of God's goodness with resistance,
Especially when grief our daily emotions drives.

Our emotions are not a very reliable source of information.
How we feel changes often too randomly.
That's why to confidently walk toward our destination,
We need to immerse ourselves in truth extendedly.

We need to understand and believe God's faithfulness.
We need to embrace His eternal promises.
We don't need to make them up or guess -
Reading His word is what confidence encompasses.

In the Bible, there are 3573 promises,
The word "promise" itself occurs 50 times.
End of suffering, protection, and forgiveness,
Peace and joy are guaranteed to us always and not just sometimes.

God's promises are the only solid ground to stand on.
Everything else is unstable and temporary.
His word is the truth for us to lean on, 
So that our lives can be for His glory and extraordinary.


9/12/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Poems about God by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod God's Promises framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

"I Love You, God" #PoemsFromGod

I always knew you loved me, God.
I never felt by you abandoned.
I felt a range of feelings broad -
Excited, grateful, and enchanted. 

Just now, though, I'm feeling love
For you, that's deep and wide and pressing.
The more in gratitude I dove,
The more I saw my life as blessing.

I love you back. I love you much.
I love your peace and even trouble.
I love your word, I love your touch.
I love your blessing and your struggle.

I love your perfect plan for me.
I love your love that's grace and fairness.
With you I don't always agree,
But thanks for teaching me awareness...

That on your hand you hold me close
And won't let go, you've never failed me.
Your special daughter me you chose,
Your precious handiwork you made me.

You love me more, I know it, God,
But love for you is my new pleasure.
Your passion for me I never forgot,
It's my passion for you that I now so treasure. 


8/6/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod I Love You God  framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Christian Poem “Joy”

"Joy" #PoemsFromGod

Joy is a feeling different than the feeling of happiness.
Happiness is temporary and is driven by external circumstances.
Joy is internal and is not defined by either power or helplessness.
Joy does not depend on our luck, health, career, love, or finances.

Joy is a mental and emotional state of complete contentment.
It’s a consistent acceptance of what is and what is to come. 
Joy exists in the heart and mind that are free of resentment.
Joy brings our whole being back to life from being dead or numb. 


9/19/18 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Christian Poem “Peace”

"God's Peace" #PoemsFromGod

Your peace rules now in my heart,
With love and joy and full devotion.
I don't pursue or seek it hard -
From abiding in you comes this sacred emotion. 

I make every effort to live at peace
With everyone, but I fail often.
From condemnation with mercy me you release.
Through the humbling journey my heart you soften.

I cast my anxieties on you in prayer,
Because you care and your son for me you sacrificed.
I don't do wrong for wrong and evade every naysayer,
Your peace guards my mind and heart in Jesus Christ.  


8/10/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod God's peace framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Christian Poem “Blessings”

If you enjoyed my Christian spoken word poetry, you may enjoy reading a blog post I dedicated specifically to poems about God.

RELATED: Christian Spoken Word Art

Now, I have a confession to make.

I believe that you have a poet in you. And that’s why I want to encourage you to write. That’s why I always ask you to speak up and comment on my blog, to share your point of view, and I encourage you to do it in the form of the spoken word.

Let’s talk about how to write spoken word poetry.

"Blessings" #PoemsFromGod

Blessings are those special people, things, or events to be grateful for.
Some blessings help us get to a place that’s better than where we were before.

Some blessings are unnoticeable, like unlimited clean drinking water.
Others are very obvious because to us personally they truly matter.

There are also blessings that, at first sight, appear to be a curse.
Those are hard to recognize and wholeheartedly appreciate, of course.

That’s where faith comes into play: in wonderful blessings we must believe!
If we train our mind to seek blessings, a joyful life we can live. 

Blessings are everywhere - all we need is to intentionally look. 
Finding blessings in everything is not a skill taught at school, from a book.

Finding blessings on purpose has to be our own habit every day.
It will become easier with time, the more attention to blessings we intentionally pay. 

Count your blessings, appreciate how unique they are!
Feel grateful, and you will undoubtedly reach for your special star. 


5/5/18 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #52Devotionals Blue Pillow Christian Home Decor

How To Write Spoken Word Poetry: 10 Steps

  1. Decide if your poem is about your experience or point of view
  2. Establish whether or not your poem will rhyme
  3. Dive deep into your heart and ponder the topic of your poem
  4. Start writing from the heart, don’t edit as you write, get it all out
  5. Look through your final draft, edit if you need to, use punctuation
  6. Read your poem out loud and see if it flows the way you feel it
  7. Edit your poem until it reflects exactly what’s in your heart
  8. Title your poem, date it, insert a copyright disclosure on the bottom
  9. Save your poem in your phone notes, in Cloud, and several places
  10. Record your poem on a voice recorder, email MP3 to yourself for copyright proof with the date stamp of when it was created

You can access my collection of short spoken word poems by downloading this free ebook about your identity as a child of God. It contains 52 free spoken word poems. Download it now.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

How To Make Money With Spoken Word Petry: 10 Ways

  1. Have your poetry collection featured on your website – see example
  2. Create your poetry prints, frame them, and sell on Amazon – see example
  3. Turn your poetry into home decor products and sell them on Etsy – see example
  4. Place your poetry on merchandise, such as shirts, hoodies, pillows, mugs, and sell them off of TeeSpring – see example
  5. Sign up for Amazon merch for free and upload your poetry designs there so that Amazon can print and sell your merch on their platform and pay you royalties – see example
  6. Setup a DONATE button on your poetry website so that your readers can donate using PayPal – see example
  7. Curate your poetry into an ebook and use it as a freebie to grow your email list, then sell to your email subscribers the products you created on Amazon, Etsy, and TeeSpring – see example
  8. Drive traffic to your poetry page and sell ads on your website. I don’t do it but soon I will soon, on this page where my poetry is published: Poems from God – 100 Spiritual Poems by Anna Szabo
  9. Start a public speaking career and include your poetry in your speeches – see example
  10. Share your poetry on YouTube and make revenue on ads

Spoken Word In Atlanta

There are thousands of spoken word poets in Atlanta. The poetry community was the best-kept secret for me, and when I joined it this year, it changed my life in many ways.

It changed my thinking. It helped me see that all people are the same, every human struggles with something, just like I do.

I attended almost all of the places listed below for spoken word in Atlanta. I hope this resource will bless you, and if you’d like to add to the list, please comment below with the details regarding the address, time, and cost of each Atlanta open mic night event you add.

Spoken Word Poetry Open Mic in Atlanta - a list of open mic Atlanta events  by Anna Szabo - Poems from God

Open Mic Night Atlanta Events: 8 Awesome Places To Share Your Spoken Word

This year, 2019, is my first year of participating in the events available to all aspiring poets of the Atlanta poetry community. I dreamed of going but I was scared. My friends encouraged me to go, and I even had visions about it, but I was so freaked out by the fact that I even wrote poetry, let alone about what it would be like to share my spoken word poems publicly.

After many many people encouraged me, I took this matter up to God, and He sent me to various open mic events for spoken word in Atlanta.

At first, I’d shake, go blank, and cry.

Then, I began enjoying every opportunity to share my inspirational poems. Most importantly, seeing people’s reactions and the impact of my Christian poems on their hearts encouraged me to continue.

Today, I am an active member of the Atlanta poetry community, and I invite you to attend some of the spoken word open mic night Atlanta events.

Also, enjoy my friends’ poems in the comments below and post your spoken word poetry to share with us.

Some of the events for spoken word in Atlanta are free, others require admission. Some events take signups in advance online and some only have a list at the door for you to sign up to perform.

That’s why I wanted to share with you all the little details I’ve learned to perhaps help you attend and enjoy spoken word open mic nights.

Below is a library of spoken word poetry examples, all taking place at the local Atlanta open mic events, each listed with an address and open mic night details for your convenience.

I hope this will be a helpful resource for you, and if you want to add to the list, please post a comment below with the details for an open mic night Atlanta event you want to add to the following list.

Cafe Rothem

Spoken word poets can perform at this Atlanta open mic night event every first Monday of the month from 7 to 9 pm for free. You can sign up online on their website in you want a 5-min spot or you can simply show up and sign up at the door for a 2-min performance.

This event is not poetry-only. There’s music, dancing, singing, and improv. Here, you can do two pieces: one if you signed up online and one if you want to also sign up at the door.

I recommend signing up online and at the door, if you want to perform two pieces: a 5- min one and a 2-min one.

It’s an international community with Asians, Russians, African-Americans, and Hispanic poets. I had never seen any Russians performing anywhere else in Atlanta, so if you’re Russin like me and, by a random chance, you read this far without a heart attack about the memories of our Soviet life, you should go to Rothem Cafe and share your spoken word poems.

Here’s my recent performance from Cafe Rothem where I shared my addictions, identity, and faith story. There was a Russian woman who reached out to me after my performance, took my hand with tears in her eyes, and told me my poem was about her mother, too.

Kat’s Cafe

Spoken word poets can perform at this Atlanta open mic night event every first Wednesday from 8 to 11 pm. The cost to perform a poem is $7 but the first ten poets perform for free. You get five minutes to do your piece, and you only get to do one piece.

It’s pretty loud at Kat’s Cafe and it’s also pretty busy, so come early. It’s a large space with a cool and fun DJ, fancy equipment that actually works, and the atmosphere is welcoming.

I was one of the two white people there, so it’s a great spot for the African-American poets but if you’re white like me and are completely comfortable being yourself in any community, go, you’ll enjoy it, it’s friendly and safe. There weren’t any Russians or Asians there.

Here’s my recent performance from Kat’s Cafe where I shared my struggles with God, faith, and hope.

Red Light Cafe

I had never been to this Atlanta open mic spot but they do poetry every second Tuesday of the month from 8 to 11 pm, and the cost of admission is $5.

If you have ever performed there, please share in the comments below what it was like and whom their community is for or if it’s all-inclusive.

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ArtsXchange

Spoken word poets can attend this Atlanta open mic night every second Friday of the month from 8 to 10:30 pm for free. This place is gorgeous, with a large, well-lit stage, pro equipment that works well, a great audience setup with everyone facing the performers, and the location is an arts center, so it’s a unique spot. It’s really dope!

This spoken word in Atlanta is located at 2148 Newnan St, East Point, GA so it’s really far from me, which is why I have only been there once, but I loved it. This community is all-inclusive and really friendly. There weren’t any Russians or Asians, but lots of white people, gay people, all sorts of people. I felt welcomed and included. I got lots of hugs there, too!

I met a new friend there, Akida Lavander, with whom I later did a spoken word collab about sex in our culture (see the bottom of this list for the video).

There’s a signup list at the door, and I’m giving you the address here because the center is new, so it’s not easy to find. The parking is in the back, go through a small gate to access parking.

Here’s my recent performance from ArtXchange where I shared my story of sex addiction and salvation.

Phoenix and Dragon

Spoken word poets can perform at this Atlanta open mic night event every second Friday of the month from 7 to 9 pm, and it’s free. You can do several pieces here. The first hour is kids-friendly, and the second hour is for adults only.

Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore poetry night is like a family gathering. It’s such a beautiful environment. I loved the setting, and Candace, the owner, also served food and drinks.

I loved the MC, Michael, very patient and encouraging man. He’s chill, positive, and he also performs. His spoken word poetry performance was outstanding. The last poem he shared stirred up so much on the inside of me, I was touched deeply. I’m definitely going back!

This is my favorite open mic in Atlanta simply because it’s the only one close to my home in Sandy Springs.

Here’s my recent performance from Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore where I shared my letter to God.

Urban Grind

Spoken word poets can perform at this Atlanta open mic night event every Thursday from 7 to 9 pm, and the cost of admission is $5. It’s a cozy small coffee shop in the middle of the big city, with gorgeous views and free parking. Yes, free parking!

It’s mostly an African-American poetry community but I’ve been there many times, and it’s always welcoming, friendly, encouraging, and inclusive.

This is a very special place because it was my first.

I’m literally crying as I’m typing this…

When I think about Urban Grind, I feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I love this place, though it’s far away from my home. When I first went there, I was so scared to perform, my voice was shaking, I was crying, and my hands were so sweaty, I felt like I was going to die there. And guess what happened? People loved my poetry, I was encouraged, and I kept coming back and growing every time.

The only reason why I was willing to step into my identity as a poet is because of how well I was treated and how much I was encouraged at Urban Grind.

This place is run by a woman who works a full-time job as a marketing executive at the Cocal Cala Company. She works so much, yet she always smiles, she’s always doing good for the community. I love her presence.

She shared with me her purpose, and my heart was so touched. This spot is a must-attend for all spoken word poets in Atlanta.

Here’s my recent performance from Urban Grind where I shared my struggles with identity and addictions.

Blackbird ATL

Spoken word poets can attend this Atlanta open mic night every Sunday from 8 to 11 pm for free, but it’s a sit-down restaurant, so you’ll have to order a meal.

The Chef there was so nice, he made me the food that was not even on the menu, and he did it in less than 20 minutes. I’ve only performed there once. The MC was Queen Sheba. She allowed me to do multiple pieces but I think typically they do one or two.

There’s a stage facing the large restaurant, and it’s pretty dark there. They have fancy equipment, there’s poetry, music, and other forms of art shared.

The parking was free only because it wasn’t monitored but normally, I believe, there’s no free parking.

The performances there included spoken word poets, musicians, and singers from all over the country. I was in awe. I enjoyed my time there very much.

It’s mostly an African-American community but everyone was welcomed, and I felt great being there. I felt included and appreciated. And I loved the food!

Here’s my recent performance from BlackBird ATL where I shared my story of standing on God’s promises.

Intersession

Spoken word poets can attend this Atlanta open mic night on a floating schedule, so I recommend you check their Facebook for the times and dates. The fee was $10, so it’s the most expensive spoken word poetry event in Atlanta.

Still, I wanted you to know about this spot. It’s a church room located at Thrive Enterprise. There’s no DJ or great equipment, but the lady who runs it does her best.

Most people came really late, so the event was a bit chaotic with almost no one in the audience for a while and then the audience showing up in the middle and even at the end.

I was one of the two white people, so it’s mostly an African-American poetry spot, but I felt welcomed and included. It was a lot of fun.

We each did multiple pieces. There was some food served, and the cost of admission was $10 to cover that, I guess.

There were some really serious equipment issues which caused various interruptions, that’s why I had never been back and I do not plan on attending there again.

This small church room is located inside a shop building with free parking. It’s hard to find but you’ll see a gay shop next door with blue lights flashing. And you’ll notice a small flyer on the door.

Here’s my recent performance from Intersession where I did a collab with Akida whom I mentioned earlier.

I hope that this comprehensive list of Atlanta open mic night events helps you and encourages you to get out there and share your own poems with the Atlanta poetry community.

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Which open mic do you want to attend?

Let me know in the comments below.

Now it’s time for me to share some of my own favorite poetry with you from my personal collection. I hope it will touch your heart and in some way perhaps even renew your mind.

May my poetry bless you!

Spoken Word Videos by Anna Szabo

I began writing poetry in March of 2017, only two years ago, and my collection of spoken word consists of inspirational poems about love, God, faith, forgiveness, fortitude, and gratitude.

RELATED: How I Became a Poet

Below are some samples of my spoken word art.

You can access my entire collection for free by visiting the “Poems from God” blog. If you write spiritual poems and feel like sharing, post your work in the comments below. I’d love to read your poetry!

Atlanta open mic night events

spoken word poets

If you watch my poetry videos and want the lyrics, click here to access my spoken word collection captured in writing.

Enjoy!

Spoken Word Poetry About Love

This spoken word poetry about love was birthed by me as I was going through a divorce with the Narcissist, trying to comprehend what God wanted me to do in the marriage with that man, how God wanted me to love him, accept him, and give him grace the same way God gave me grace.

Spoken Word Poetry About Depression

This spoken word poetry about depression is a reflection on my own depression story as the result of the marriage with the Narcissist and his cruel manipulation, which led to my suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety attacks, and Psychomotor Retardation.

Spoken Word Poetry About Life

This spoken word about life is a collab I did with Vino Venitas, a poet whom I highly respect for his honesty and genuine passion. I had so much forgiveness to do while dealing with the consequences of a marriage with the Narcissist, I wanted to share my journey with others. Almost seven thousand people are asking how to forgive someone who hurt you, and I knew this spoken word about life would help many people.

Spoken Word Poetry About Jesus

In this spoken word about Jesus, I share how much I need Christ and His strength. I wrote this poem when I was heartbroken, depressed, suicidal, and suffering from Psychomotor Retardation.

I have a large library of spoken word videos on YouTube. I also share my poetry on The Anna Szabo Show, my Christian podcast for women.

To get my new spoken word videos, subscribe to my Christian YouTube channel here. Let me know in the comments below which video spoke to your heart and helped you with your own life situation.

And come to one of the open mic Atlanta events, so we can meet in-person.

Summary

Today I shared with you Spoken Word Poetry Definition and gave you a very detailed answer to the question “What Is Spoken Word Poetry?

I invited you to eight awesome places here in Atlanta to share your spoken wor art at Atlanta open mic events. You also were introduced to the spoken word poets from all over the world who influenced me in my childhood (when I pursued poetry) and recently (when poetry began pursuing me).

I offered you a comprehensive list of spoken word poetry examples, answered some of the Frequently Asked Questions About Poetry, and I showed you behind the scenes of some open mic Atlanta events and venues.

You discovered how I got introduced to Spoken Word Poetry and even how Spoken Word Poetry makes me feel. You know now why I value and cherish open mic Atlanta events, which helped me step into my poetic super-powers, especially Urban Grind.

May the guide I created for you “Open Mic Night Atlanta Events: 8 Awesome Places To Share Your Spoken Word” inspire you and your friends to meet me one day at an open mic night at Atlanta so that we can use our creativity to make the world a better place and leverage our spoken word super-powers to draw attention to the topics that matter.

If you found my article helpful, share it with a poet who needs this information right now. God bless!

P.S: GET MY FREE EBOOK NOW


Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

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