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 through the history of the technique, watching and creating great performances (while seeking to transcend traditional boundaries) and traveling into 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. 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, under the influence of his mother. In addition to his work in the 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 most known for co-founding Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam (HBO), which won the Peabody Award in 1999. He has also founded other organizations such as Ebony Energy Talent Network- a booking agency for speakers such as Rev. Jessie Jackson, Amiri Baraka, and The Last Poets and others.