One hundred hand picked invites went out across the amber waves of grain and purple mountaintops this week requesting the honor of their presence and granting the bearer entry to the first Obama White House Poetry Slam (Jam?) event. It is designed to celebrate the written word which does not always mean every audience leaves enchanted. Krysten Sinema will represent Phoenix Arizona figuratively and literally at the White House Poetry Slam on Tuesday, May 12th. Georgia will have a local commisioner grooving to the rythmic word in the form of Ashley Bell.
The Obamas are hoping events like this Poetry Slam/Jam create a renaissance for the arts and a renewal of interest in the People’s House. Shakespeare is a traditional favorite of most presidents, especially the ones that write memorably, but a real Poetry Slam brings to light the more eclectic scales of the format. Open mic night at the White House would herald some new talent – yet this inaugural White House Slam will also feature younger artists Mayda Del Valle, contemporary novelist Michael Chabon, bassist Esperanza Spalding with an all caps jazz pianist ELEW and Grammy Award winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. Man cannot live by bread alone. The treats and eats are already edible diamonds of the First gold plates at the White House. Now come the sounds and the words.