Poetic Justice BAM’s Grand Slam! Dunk

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[The Arts]

Unbridled Artistry At BAM

Poetry 2012: Grand Slam!, Brooklyn  Academy of Music’s (BAM)  annual spoken-word event, returned to the  Harvey Theatre this year with  no less than a  remarkable cast  that masters the art of reciting rhymes rapidly and rhythmically-a showcase  of linguistic  brilliance  and explosive talent. It’s the event where the skills of spoken-word poets and beat -box artists are on full display and is now in its eighth year, having been launched by BAM’s Education Department as a forum for students to express themselves through poetry,the ageless art form where words are revered.
It began in the halls of academia, but through demand, opened its doors to the public and has morphed into a celebration of the best in the spoken-word genre. Grand Slam! delivered. The purists, concerned that poetry has been high-jacked and desecrated --a victim of youth prone to fickleness and caprice-- need not fret because here’s the proof that this renaissance is tended by caring hands and visionary minds.

Young spoken-word poets Full Circle, The Strivers Row Poets, Ismail “Ish” Islam, NeNe Ali” and Yakoo 440 assured us with lyrical excellence that activism, sensitivity and conscious living are on the minds. Jamaal St. John’s validation of "black sistas" with generous hips is a masterpiece in satire; mirthful and liberating. Trailblazer Jessica Care-Moore continues to chant the concerns of welfare mothers, remembered Whitney and Etta, and etched matters of race into our collective consciousness. Hobo poet-genius “Mighty” Mike McGee, visually and intellectually stimulating, proves that alliteration is still funny, yet can promote activism and arouse political engagement. The evening’s host poet Baba Israel in his role as custodian for the evening’s spirited mood was on point; while DJ Reborn, the girl with the made-for-vinyl fingers, wove it all together with pulsating background beats.

Poetry 2012 subtitled “Expression in the Right Direction” is a shout out to the positive path that young minds can pave when nurtured and not left to languish, deeming ancient and invalid the adage that youth is wasted on the young.

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