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Interview at NTA 2: Ayodele Ogundipe

11:55 am 19 Sep, 2013

Spoken word is an art form that has long been present in human society. Oral traditions in cultures predate the written word, and poems, or a type of spoken singing or stories, sometimes accompanied by music, held captive many an audience far before the first book was ever written. Even when books became available, troubadours and balladeers often spoke stories of adventure, romance, tragedy and comedy to wide audiences, since reading was not a common accomplishment.

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Today, spoken word refers to two separate art forms. One is entirely based on recorded spoken word, such as the reading of novels or the recitation of poetry that supplies us with the modern "books on tape." The art form in its second definition refers to those events when poets, and sometimes comedians or social commentators recite or invent on the spot poems, commentary, jokes, and the like as a performance piece intended for an audience. The latter type arises from the oral traditions long held in numerous cultures.