This analysis focuses on the use of slam poetry as a mechanism to inspire activism by specifically analyzing poems that pertain to three different political areas: identity politics, intersectional feminism, and mental health. For each category, I analyze a set of poems to uncover the poet’s implications by assessing both the lyrics and the poet’s performance aspects. For identity politics, I consider four poems, two pertaining to individual experience based on race and cultural identity and two speaking to LGBTQ+ experience. In the intersectional politics section, I focus on violence against women and use two poems that express different perspectives on the issue. For mental health, I analyze a poem that spotlights the experience of living with OCD and another that illuminates gaps in knowledge about depression. Ultimately, I find that these poems are used to educate the audience about social issues and injustices by emotionally impacting the viewers. These poems serve as catalysts for members of the community to get involved and spread awareness for causes through the method of storytelling.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2020


Erik Liddell

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


English and Theatre