"Since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, several persons, especially those seeking data for an article or book, have asked me whether I knew in what way I was influencing his life. The answer is an unqualified 'No.' There is no way one can know the degree of influence one has upon another.” ~ Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, in Born to Rebel

Spoken Word Performance

Aligning with the overall theme of our MMUF Regional Conference, we would like to invite you to use performance and the aesthetics of word play to speak to commonalities and differences observed and experienced throughout your life. Your observations or narration of experiences can emerge from and engage multiple domains of thinking: social, political, personal, sacred, environmental, economic, psychological, aesthetic, cultural, historical, linguistic, etc.  Choose one or weave several together thematically

What is Spoken Word?

There are many definitions of Spoken Word, and you may have a preferred description. For the sake of brevity, let’s provisionally define it as an aesthetic expression of emotional truth emerging from our complex negotiation of the world (your “life thesis”).

Please submit your work for consideration by October 9th.  Performers for the MMUF Western Regional Conference will be notified by October 16th.

Guidelines for the performance:

  • You may read or recite your work
  • Please limit your Spoken Word to three minutes maximum
  • Provide a brief, written Bio (50 words) explaining how the conference theme "Intersections of Identity" impacts your academic life and/or situates, informs, or intensifies your research
  • Provide a “selfie” or another representative image of yourself

(We may choose to publish your “MMUF Regional Conference Spoken Word” which would include your written piece, your bio, and your photo)

Although we will only have time for a few performances, we welcome ALL written submissions from Mellon Fellows for our informal/online publication (writers will be consulted regarding any editing)  

Select examples of “Spoken Word” performances; please “google” the following:image

  • Afro-Latina by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • When you Say My Name by Zachary Caballero
  • Accents by Denise Frohman
  • Brief History by Jose Soto
  • Descendancy by Mayda de Valle
  • On Realizing I am Blk by Gabriel Ramirez

Questions?  Submissions?  Help and Feedback?  Please contact Winona Wynn at the following email addressWynn_w@heritage.edu