Poets and Personae: 'Poet Voice' as Sociolinguistic Identity Construction in Spoken Word Poetry
Access changed 8/24/22
The sociolinguistic study of language variation within and between social communities has often been used as a tool for understanding identity construction. Following this tradition, this project subjects a previously unexamined social identity—the Spoken Word poet—to an examination of how members of the Spoken Word community construct identity through their Community of Practice. This project proposes that there is a basic set of linguistic features belonging to the shared repertoire of this community: a Poet Voice. Through examining the use of these features alongside features of a poem's created personae, this project presents Poet Voice as indexing both the speaker’s personal stake in the identity of “Spoken Word poet” and her membership within the larger group.