We will have performers at the awards and there will also be an open mic portion before the awards on the red carpet.  For tickets and info call 312.719.7310


RED CARPET 3:00PM

RED CARPET OPEN MIC 3:30PM

AWARDS 4:30PM

  • 5:34
  • 3:34
  • 1. HINDSIGHT3:35
  • 3:22

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE  2022 NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS

COMETRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

SPIRITUAL NOMINEE PERFORMANCES

RISING STAR AND SLAM ARTIST NOMINEES

THE NSWA YOUTH NOMINEE PERFORMANCES

THE 2018 NSWA WINNERS

THE 2019 NSWA STAGE PERFORMANCES

2018 NSWA HIGHLIGHTS

NOMINATIONS CAN BE DONE THROUGH ANY PHONE OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

ARTISTS ARE NOMINATED FOR WORK DONE BETWEEN

APRIL OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR AND THE CURRENT YEAR

WINNERS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHIPPING OF THEIR AWARDS

NOMINEES WHO RECEIVE THE SAME PERCENTAGE OF VOTES SHALL BE CONSIDERED A TIE

01. NSWA BEST SPOKEN WORD MALE / FEMALE
02. NSWA BEST SPOKEN WORD FEMALE

03. BLAQ ICE AWARD/BEST SPOKEN WORD ENTERTAINER
04. BEST SPOKEN WORD STAGE SHOW
05. BEST OPEN MIC SET
06. BEST HOST
07. BEST COMETRY OF THE YEAR
08. INTERNATIONAL SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR
09. NICO WASHINGTON/NSWA PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
10. BEST SPOKEN WORD VENUE
11. SLAM SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR
12. BEST SPOKEN WORD YOUTH (UNDER 19)
13. BEST SPOKEN WORD DUO OR GROUP
14. STRAWBERRI TAYLOR AWARD/ BEST EROTIC 
15. BEST SPIRITUAL SPOKEN WORD ARTIST 
16. RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
17. RADIO SHOW / TV OR STATION OF THE YEAR
18. BEST SPOKEN WORD STORYTELLER  
19. ARMEN RAH / NSWA MENTORSHIP AWARD 

20. P.O.E.T COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
21. BEST SPOKEN WORD CD

22. NSWA OVERCOMER OF THE YEAR

2017 NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS HIGHLIGHTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SOLD OUT 2020 NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SOLD OUT 2021 NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE  2023 NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS

1. MUST BE A PERFORMING POET W/ VIDEO PROOF

2. MUST BE A PERFORMING POET WITH VIDEO PROOF

3. VIDEO PROOF OF AUDIENCE PERFORMANCE

4. VIDEO PROOF OF STAGE SHOW

5. AN OPEN MIC THAT RAN AFTER APRIL THE PREVIOUS YEAR

6. MUST HAVE VIDEO PROOF

7. VIDEO PROOF PERFORMING 3 COMEDY POETRY PIECES

8. MUST BE AN ACTIVE PERFORMER OUTSIDE THE U.S.

9. MUST PUT ON SPOKEN WORD EVENTS

10. MUST HOST SPOKEN WORD EVENTS

11. MUST HAVE PROOF YOU HAVE ENTERED SLAMS

12. MUST HAVE PROOF OF STAGE PERFORMANCE

13. MUST HAVE PROOF OF GROUP PERFORMANCE

14. LOVE, SEX, ROMANTIC OR EROTIC PERFORMANCE

15. MUST PERFORM 3 OR MORE DIFFERENT SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS PIECES

16. POETS WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF ESTABLISHING THEMSELVES

17. MUST HAVE A CURRENT POETRY RADIO / TV SHOW

18. STAGE PERFORMANCES BEST TELLING A STORY

19. PROOF OF MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS  

20. PROOF OF COMMUNITY SERVICE

​21. CD RELEASE DATE MUST BE AFTER APRIL THE PREVIOUS YEAR

22. SPOKEN WORD ARTIST WITH DISABILITIES / HEALTH CHALLENGES

GET READY FOR THE  2024 NSWA

NSWA CATEGORIES AND QUALIFICATIONS

The National Spoken Word Awards was founded in 2017 by De'Andre Hawthorne aka Blaq Ice, an international award winning Spoken Word Poet from Chicago. He was instrumental in bringing the National Poetry Awards to Chicago in 2016, the 7th and final year of the National Poetry Awards. The end of the National Poetry Awards inspired the beginning of the NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD AWARDS.


The awards were created to honor American Spoken Word Artists and those international Spoken Word artists who have made an impact in the United States. The 1st annual Spoken Word Awards was held on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Chicago IL. The NSWAs will be held every year, the weekend of Labor Day, kicking off International Spoken Word Month. The nomination period takes place every year, starting April 1st (National Poetry Month), and ending the third Sunday in May.


The nomination period starts April 1st, the first day of National Poetry Month and goes until May 15th. The voting period starts June 1st until July 31st. Voting is done electronically, fairly and every Spoken Word artist has the same opportunity to get their fans and supporters to vote for them. The National Spoken Word Awards has done what no other awards show does, post the voting results, so that all could see the transparency and the integrity of the National Spoken Word Awards. Please visit our website at nationalspokenwordawards.com 

2018 NSWA RED CARPET INTERVIEWS