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Is a style of performance poetry that began in New York City and became popular among blacks in the early nineties. It evolved from the oral tradition of free-style hip hop artists and poets who would perform at local open mics. Unlike previous styles of poetry, spoken word is usually written with the intention of being performed. It emphasizes the tone of the human voice, which adds another layer of meaning for interpretation. While spoken word poems may vary in style, most have a narrative, include some form of social commentary and range from being two to three minutes long.