Closing Time: Using Spoken Word Techniques to Create a Powerful Ending


Workshop meets over four Mondays:

  • Monday, June 7, 5:30-7:30 pm, CT
  • Monday, June 14, 5:30-7:30 pm, CT
  • Monday, June 21, 5:30-7:30 pm, CT
  • Monday, June 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, CT


  • Tuition: $100
  • Location: Zoom virtual workshop
  • Deadline: Registration closes on Monday, June 7, 5:00 pm, CT

Tution Assistance Available!

Closing Time: Using Spoken Word Techniques to Create a Powerful Ending


When a poet steps away from the microphone there is a moment where every breath is held and every jaw dropped. The power is palpable. You may find yourself asking, how did they do that? What writing techniques do performance poets use to pack such a punch at the end of their work? From effective final lines to structure subversion, spoken word artists have found multiple ways to leave audiences stunned.

You may be a master at hooking your audience, a poet who can capture passion and pain, even a talented storyteller, but if you cannot finish strong your audience will walk away with your poem already fading. A powerful ending is how you keep that poem alive for days, weeks, and years to come.

This workshop, designed for novice and experienced poets, will focus on ending a poem by examining the spoken word artists who have found a way to capture the attention of millions of viewers online. The artists include names such as Neil Hilborn, Javon Johnson, Sabrina Benaim, Blythe Bard, and many others.



Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey  (he/him) is an Iowa City based spoken word poet who has performed in multiple cities across the US, including Chicago and New York City. He is a winner of the Des Moines Poetry Slam, the Iowa City Poetry Slam, and finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Slam - Iowa City. Caleb is the author of two books, Look, Black Boy and Heart Notes, along with publications in Best Emerging Writers in Iowa 2019, the Little Village, and Black Art; Real Stories. He is also the founder and director of IC Speaks, an organization that teaches spoken word to local high school students. 


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