Poetry at the White House

Last night President Barak Obama hosted the first White House Poetry Party. Specially invited poets and writers were accompanied by jazz musicians in the East Room in order to give a platform for voices that are not often heard.

Obama is, as you may know, a poetry fan. He stated on the campaign trail that:

no one should graduate from university without having read poetry.

Perfomers included:  slam poet Mayda Del Valle, from Obama’s hometown Chicago; hip-hop artist and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda; and the finalists from a youth poetry competition, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio and Joshua Brandon Bennett; actor James Earl Jones; jazz musician ELEW and Esperanza Spalding; novelist Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union; and Ayelet Waldeman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.

This unique event combining poetry and jazz in very special surroundings can be viewed on the White House website.

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