You know that Def Poetry Jam has made a cultural impact when your Daddy-- who hasn't been in the loop with anything pop-culture since The Beatles broke up-- sends you an email blast praising a poet!
Def Poetry Jam premiered on HBO in 2002, brought to the air waves thanks in part to hip-hop-media-mogul Russell Simmons. Hosted by Mos Def, the weekly series played a huge role in bringing the phenomena of spoken word poetry out of the small urban clubs (such as The Nuyorican) and to the main stage. National Slam champion poets such as Beau Sia, Mayda del Valle, Oveous Maximus, and Rafael Casal have all appeared on the show, as well as a slew of conscious celebs such as Lauryn Hill, Common, Jill Scott, and Saul Williams.
If ya don't know slam... now ya know... Peep some of my favorite, brilliant, hysterically funny, emotionally stirring poets below (and one my Pops liked!).
... and the one that Pops dug...