Performance Poet Bruce George in Residence, December 7–8

The cofounder of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam will teach and perform at a poetry slam.
November 13, 2009

Tony and Peabody Award–winning performance poet Bruce George steps up to the mic during his residency at Berklee on December 8. As the featured artist for the Poetry Jam and Slam class, George will bring a power-packed poetic flow to the stage between two rounds of slam poetry from select students in the course. Simone Beaubien, the Cantab Lounge's slam master, will emcee the event. The evening begins at 7:00 p.m. at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street, Boston. This event is free. Call 617 747-2421 for more details.

George’s residency will have students exploring their inner def poet as he spits his own brand of verbal artistry December 7–8. The class enables students to search for their own poetic voice by learning technique, and watching and creating great performances (while seeking to transcend traditional boundaries). They will be exposed to Boston’s slam poetry scene among other innovative, experiential, academic pursuits. This is all achieved while studying, writing, and performing poetry, but not in the typical form. This is the exuberant, genre-defying, political, personal, raucous, and powerful modern performance kind of poetry. George’s residency will end the semester-long course.

George is an accomplished poet and writer. Born and raised in New York City, the former gang member began writing poetry some 30 years ago thanks to the influence of his mother. In addition to his work in literary and entertainment circles, George is a social and political activist. He is one of the founders of the American Experiment Peace Project, an anti-violence and poverty initiative. In 2008, he edited The Bandana Republic: an Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Gang Members and Affiliates, to help bring gang members into the literary world and to break some of the stereotypes associated with them. George is best known for cofounding Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, which won a Peabody Award in 1999. He has also founded other organizations, such as Ebony Energy Talent Network, a booking agency for speakers such as the Reverend Jessie Jackson, Amiri Baraka, the Last Poets, and others.