To understand the world means to learn about the history and practice of an art form and to interact with other artists and the broader arts community. Understanding the world is about learning to collaborate and contribute to making the world a better place.

Everyone has a story, but how to share it? For spoken-word artist Alex Dang, poetry is the answer. In this video, Dang explains how poetry embodies equity—it allows the space for all people to create and share their unique stories and perspectives. Dang emphasizes the importance of being in awe of the world to better understand it and yourself.  


  • What is a complex issue or personal story that you think writing poetry could you’re you understand?
  • Takes one moment that can be expanded into a beautiful experience- talk about a time you felt like this while looking at or making art.
  • You’re bringing what you are to the stage
  • We don’t care who you are or where you come from- we care about your story and if you can tell that story well. Do you agree or disagree?



Alex Dang is a member of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Portland Poetry Slam Team competing at the National Poetry Slam and the youngest representative from Portland in the slam's history. Alex is currently the Portland Grand Slam Champion 2015 and the Eugene Grand Slam Champion of 2014 and 2015. Videos of his performances have amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube. He has been a speaker at two TEDx events: TEDxReno and TEDxUOregon. A nationally touring poet, Alex has performed in over 35 cities, 20 states, and is a world renowned burger expert.

You’re smart, but you’re not that smart.
You will make a lot of mistakes,
so be smart enough to learn from them.