Poets, musicians, artists and art aficionados alike can rejoice: the poetry slam from HBO’s Def Poetry Jam is coming to West Chester University. The performance is sponsored by an assortment of on-campus organizations, including SAC, IFC, LGBTAQ, the Black Student Union, the English department, SGA, the Division of Student Affairs and the President’s Office. If you’re not sure what exactly def poetry is, this is an event you most definitely want to check out. It is poetry that is specifically composed for or during performance before an audience. Much of performance poetry doesn’t work in print form, as it’s written specifically for oral presentations.
Also, many of the poets are often not academically trained in writing poetry and make pop culture allusions instead of literary ones. So if Walt Whitman isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, you won’t find him here.
The event boasts a variety of performers, including Bassey, Black Ice, Amalia Ortiz, Ishley Park, Lemon and DJ Rehka, each of whom bring their own little something special to the program. Bassey has performed in the Def Poetry College Tour and has opened for performing artists such as India.Arie and Les Nubians, as well as recently appearing on the HBO series “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Ortiz was named Puro Slam’s 1999 MVP Park was the 2000 Loudpoet of the Year and the Grand Slam Champion of Bar 13, as well as the first Korean-American woman ever to compete and be featured on the finals stage at the National Poetry Slam. Black Ice was the first spoken-word artist signed to Def Jam Records and has performed at Live 8. Lemon is regular on HBO’s Def Poetry and an original cast member/ writer for the TONY Awardwinning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Finally, DJ Rehka was one of the pioneers of New York’s South Asian music. She is responsible for introducing British-Asian music to North America.
The poetry slam takes place on Feb. 10th at 8 p.m. in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall. Tickets for the event cost $3.00 and are currently on sale at the SSI Service Center.