Last year Obama promised while on the campaign trail that he would bring poets and musicians into the White House to “open up the White House and remind people this it is the people’s house.”
He has already made good that promise with concerts by Fergie, Stevie Wonder, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Earth Wind & Fire since taking office. Tuesday night though was the first Poetry Slam, a form of poetry that takes the word and brings it out with energy as the verses are performed.
Tonight’s event features James Earl Jones; poet Mayda Del Valle, novelist Michael Chabon, jazz musicians ELEW and Esperanza Spalding and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, not the average mix for the urban poetry form.
NBC New York reports:
“It’s an incredible honor any time to receive an invitation from the White House and President Obama,” said Arizona Rep. Krysten Sinema, who is among the 100 people invited to attend the event. “But to see our nation’s talent and be a part of history at the first-ever White House Poetry Slam is amazing. I’m very excited to be a part of this moment.”