Def Poetry (TV Series 2002 – )

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Def Poetry (2002)

  • Stars
    • Yasiin Bey
    • Russell Simmons
    • Lemon Andersen
  • 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 critical of the poetry slam, such as John S. Hall, have acknowledged slam's influence on the show.
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    • Taglines
      • Spoken word. Spoken truth.
    • Genres
      • Documentary
      • Music
    • Certificate
      • TV-MA
    • Parents guide


    • Release date
      • June 2002 (United States)
    • Country of origin
      • United States
    • Language
      • English
    • Also known as
      • Def Poetry Jam
    • Filming locations
      • Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
    • Production companies
      • Home Box Office (HBO)
      • Simmons-Lathan Media Group

    Technical specs

    • Runtime
      28 minutes
    • Color
      • Color
    • Sound mix
      • Stereo
    • Aspect ratio
      • 1.33 : 1

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