Spoken Word is poetry explicitly written to be performed onstage, rather than read from the page. As an art form it focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation and voice inflection. While often associated with hip-hop culture, it also has strong ties to storytelling, modern poetry, post-modern performance, and monologue theatre, as well as jazz, blues, and folk music. It can be can be dynamic, comedic, dramatic or tragic and often contains references to current events and issues relevant to contemporary audiences. At its best spoken word is a powerful, high-energy, form of expression that attracts artists and audiences of all ages from a wide range of disciplines and socio-cultural backgrounds.