The theatrical production of slam-style poetry called the Def Poetry Jam plays Des Moines tonight (Tuesday), its first-ever appearance in Iowa. The nine-member cast provides what’s billed as 90-minutes of poetry in motion, but it’s not Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson. 27-year-old Flaco Navaja is one of the poets and describes what the audience is in for. He says you’ll be touched by nine poets from different walks of life, social backgrounds and opinions who will take you on a rollercoaster of laughter and tears in the same poem. Navaja is a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent and says it’ll be his first trip to Iowa. He says he looks forward to meeting Iowans and learning about us in exchange for bringing his unusual artform to the heartland.Navaja says everyone who comes to the show will be able to relate to some, if not all, of the poets and all will leave with something new inside their heads and hearts. He says “It doesn’t matter if it’s a social thing or a race thing or an age thing. There’s human stories and there’s definitely a human quality in the show and we definitely demystify the poetry world and make it okay to express yourselves and make it cool to be progressive and positive.”The Def Poetry Jam runs tonight only at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. For more information, surf to “www.CivicCenter.org”.
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