First off, if you generally dislike spoken word, hip-hop or even poetry in general... you might want to skip this. For the record Def Poetry tends to veer towards rap and slam poetry and away from more traditional poetry, so some lovers of Wordsworth or Plath or frost wont want to make the trip.
If you have seen the movie "slam" or heard Saul Williams or Sara Jones or lemon or any other slam poets or are interested in exposing yourself or others to this form of poetry you WILL be interested in checking out Def Poetry. As with all compilations, there are highs and lows, but overall most of the poets do have something to offer, whether it is profane humor, joie de vie, or something eloquent, touching or political.
Each episode features 4-5 young poets doing their thing as well as a singular "old school" representative. My one complaint is that each of the older artists is presented reading or reciting in sepia tones... this seems cheesy to me.
there are 4 episodes of this program shown per year, and the first two years have been collected on DVD. My mom is an English teacher in a high school here in Canada and she is planning to use the first season (selected parts) to illustrate to her students how poetry can still be a relevant form... and to show the link between rap and poetry.
There IS some foul language, but for the most part its absolutely nothing you haven't heard a million times (esp if you listen to rap). Its definitely nothing that will scare you away. If you keep in mind that the typical episode will have 2 performers you will really enjoy and 3 that you will not be so into, I think you will find it a welcome surprise. Def poetry jam is something different, and of decent quality. and that makes it a worthwhile show.
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