Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Making of Def Poetry


Def Poetry, also known as Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry or Def Poetry Jam, which was co-founded by Bruce George, Danny Simmons and Deborah Pointer, is an HBO television series produced by hip-hop music entrepreneur Russell Simmons. The series presents performances by established spoken word poets, as well as up-and-coming ones. Well-known actors and musicians will often surprise the audience by showing up to recite their own original poems. The show is hosted by Mos Def. Def Poetry is a spin-off of Def Comedy Jam. As he did on Def Comedy, Russell Simmons appears at the end of every episode to thank the audience. "Thank ya'll for coming out, God bless and good night".

The series included historical legendary poets such as, The Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka and Sonya Sanchez. It also featured poets, Saul Williams, Grammy Award Winning J. Ivy, Jessica Care-Moore and Lemon. Though technically not a poetry slam, Def Poetry has become heavily associated with the poetry slam movement, and utilizes many of poetry slam's best known poets, including National Poetry Slam champions such as Beau Sia, Taylor Mali, Big Poppa E, Mayda del Valle, Mike Mcgee, Alix Olson and Rives, among others.

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