The History of Snapping


Back in the day...

...poets primarily in San Francisco and New York City would gather in coffeehouses and at hootenannies to perform passionate spoken word poems steeped in cultural rebellion and political activism. Often these spaces were located in the basements of buildings where people lived above. So that the attendees would not upset the residents with their loud applause after each reading, patrons were asked instead to snap their fingers as a way of showing their appreciation. The tradition of snapping to express emotion for a spoken word poem has also been said to act as a more spontaneous and impassioned in-the-moment response than clapping. And, since a poem can also be revealing of a poet's emotional experiences, snapping is also a quiet and thus more sensitive show of support. 

We've incorporated the concept of snapping into the Poetiv platform as a way to honor this important longtime element of spoken word poetry culture, and maintain the emotive and connective feeling of the live community poetry space. Simply hold down the circle located on top of a post's image to snap. Download Poetiv and start snapping to spoken words that resonate with you.