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2023 Inaugural Spoken Awards – Winners

Motif Spoken Word Awards

Spoken words have power – to spread ideas, create new thoughts, spin up ideas, or even just amuse or entertain. They are the OG medium of communication, artistic expression and journalism.

To recognize the practitioners of art forms such as spoken word, storytelling and stand-up comedy, Motif embarked on a new kind of awards show / community gathering, in partnership with FundaFest, the Langston Hughes Poetry Reading, R1 Indoor Karting, Mr. Orange Live and the SWAP Meet.


The first ever Spoken Awards took place at the end of Funda Fest, on Friday, Feb 3, 6:30pm. at R1 Indoor Karting, hosted by April Brown, Chip Douglas, Nirva Lafortune and Joe Wilson Jr.

Over 60 people came out despite it suddenly becoming the coldest day of the year (it was warm inside the venue), and the performances were an incredible show of talent throughout the night, with intimate exposure to artists who can hold entire stadiums in thrall. The love and powerful sense of community throughout the night was deeply inspiring, and Motif thanks all who came out and were a part of a magical night. Winning is fun, but the spirit of the night made it clear that this wasn’t about who won, it was about celebrating a community and a venerable art form.

Below you can watch some event footage and interviews from that night. Additional photos can be found on FB!

You can see all the nominees here. Here are the winners. Congratulations to all!

Spoken word

Free verse

Sarah Lopes

Social Justice

Chachi Carvalho


Halima Ibrahim


Liz Moniz

Comedy: new voices

Shyam Subramanian

Favorite event / night

Providence Poetry Slam

Narrative music / Hip-Hop / Rap

Chachi Cavalho

Favorite Producer

Juan Wilson Jr.



Funda Fest

Personal Story

Fallon Masterson


Ray Rickman


Len Cabral

Langston Hughes Poetry Award

Ramona Bass Kolobe


Miscellaneous Winner

Lynsea Montanari

Favorite Live Performer

Tyler Hittner

Honorable Mention Favorite Spoken Word

Mr. Orange Live

Overall Favorite Spoken Performer

Len Cabral

LIVE Audience Judging

Audience Award Storytelling

Valerie Tutson

Audience Award Spoken Word

Kleo Sincere

Audience Award Comedy

Duchess Southside

Read Meg Coss’s interviews with a selection of winners here!