Welcome to One Poetic Voice
France. Singapor. Madagascar. Since 1986, poetry slam events have grown into a global literary phenomena. Throughout the past decade, Marc Kelly Smith, the founder of poetry slam has performed in foreign countries several times a year. National slams in Germany attract more than 5000 people. Slams in France air on national television. In Africa, poets from many countries gather to compete on a regular basis. Chicago is viewed by most slam poets as the Mecca for poetry. With ongoing exchanges, One Poetic Voice is committed to promoting poetry through performance and raising the quality of performance poetry worldwide in the interest of world peace one poem at a time.
Bridging the Language Barrier
For a successful exchange, the obvious hurdle is to remove the language barrier. “Translation through Performance” achieves instantaneous understanding of the content while creating vibrant, culturally rich dialogue. Translated poem segments are instantly provided to the audience while the poets also communicate using performance skills.
For information on upcoming One Poetic Voice performances, visit us on Facebook.
"One Poetic Voice
ONE POETIC VOICE is an innovative process of oral interpretation created and developed by Marc Kelly Smith, the Poetry Slam founder, and Chicago’s Speak’Easy Ensemble in conjunction with performance poetry ensembles from Germany and France. The poetic texts of two languages are interlaced into performances that bring to life the passion, humor, depth, sonic beauty, and thought provoking imagery of the poetic experience without devolving into taxing academic exercise.
In the past when translations were presented to public audiences the immediacy of the poetic experience was almost always lost in what devolved into a back and forth stanza by stanza, poem by poem, scholarly exercise.
“One Poetic Voice” employs all the technique and performance choices discovered and re-discovered over the past thirty years by the international poetry slam community — technique bringing to life mood, inflection, body language, tempo, etc. – to give the poetic translations (and the original) a vibrancy on stage equal to any performing art experience — weaving two languages into tandem performances that communicate, entertain, and thoroughly satisfy audiences composed of both the primary language and its translation.
It is a well known fact that many translations never truly do justice to the original text. Many sacrifice the music of the language for literal meaning. Many obscure the tone and meaning by forced efforts to match rhythms and rhymes. “One Poetic Voice ” performances preserve the music and passion of the primary text while honoring the meaning and intention of its ideas, imagery, symbolism, and themes.
The first major display of the “performance Interpretation” technique showcased at the 25th Anniversary of Poetry Slam Birthday Celebration held at Chicago’s Metro Music Club when Germany’s Word Alert Championship Slam Team joined forces for with the Speak’Easy Ensemble and wowed an audience of over 800 people with its “precise performance, its clear immediate meaning, humor, and depth.” Quite an accomplishment for a performance that has two languages operating simultaneously.
Poet MCs in around the world are invited to contact us with their information and location to be included in an international registry