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Def Poetry 

This show is a spoken word poetry television series hosted by Mos Def and airing on HBO between 2002 and 2007. The series features performances by established and up-and-coming spoken word ... See full summary »
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7   6   5   4   3   2   1   Unknown  
2007   2005   2004   2003   2002   Unknown  
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Yasiin Bey ...  Himself - Host / ... 44 episodes, 2002-2007
Russell Simmons ...  Himself 40 episodes, 2002-2007
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Storyline

This show is a spoken word poetry television series hosted by Mos Def and airing on HBO between 2002 and 2007. The series features performances by established and up-and-coming spoken word poets. It's a spin off of def comedy and has been referred to as slam poetry although Simmons has said it isn't part of the movement. Just like def comedy jam Producer Russell Simmons comes out and makes an appearance each episode to thank the crowd at the end of the show. The series included historical legendary poets such as, The Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka and Sonya Sanchez. It also featured poets, Saul Williams, 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. Even poets who are ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Spoken word. Spoken truth.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

TV-MA
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Def Poetry Jam See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[repeated Line]
Mos Def: Oh, shit, it's Russell Simmons.
See more »

Connections

Spun-off from Def Comedy Jam (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Quite worthwhile
28 March 2005 | by goldberaSee all my reviews

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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