Def Poetry Jam Reunion
â€”at the new MIST Harlemâ€”
reunites poets from smash HBO & Broadway shows
Nearly 20 years ago, the spoken word movement was exploding. Abstract-expressionist painter Danny Simmonsâ€” and published author, poet, painter and art philanthropistâ€”began mixing poetry into his galleriesâ€™ shows. Believing that poetry deserved a global platform, Danny set in motion plans which eventually became Def Poetry. Building on brother Russellâ€™s and Stan Lathanâ€™s Def Comedy Jam success, Danny began the branding of spoken word & creating an audience along with partners poet Bruce George and executive Deborah Pointer. Russell saw the potential early on, and allowed Danny to use his brand name to develop the concept nationally. He also invited Stan Lathan (whoâ€™d go onto direct the HBO & Broadway shows).to view a showcase at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The show was a hit, and Stan signed on to further develop a TV pitch. A wildly-received HBO showcase at the Aspen Comedy Festival became the tipping pointâ€”and launched the HBO TV showâ€¦ the rest is history: seven (7) seasons, Peabody & Tony Awards, and a critically-acclaimed Broadway show. Today, spoken word is part of the fabric of American society & arts, and has impacted culture worldwide.
The Def Poetry Jam Reunion, on September 27 at the new MIST Harlem, reunites poets from the hit HBO & Broadway showsâ€”while introducing the world to Harlemâ€™s next great cultural center.