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.