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West Side Poetry Jam celebrates Black History Month

February 05, 2010

A Valley tradition continues at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13, as the 6th annual West Side Poetry Jam is presented at Arizona State University’s West campus. The event is hosted by the campus’s Black History Month Committee and the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

The evening will feature some of the Valley’s brightest and best poets as they perform their original creations. Hosted by Divine, this annual event is one of the largest of its kind in the area and will feature DJ Dark Vader. Featured poets include issim dark, ms marche, kafiah, seven, flipside, apollo and i am poet.

Divine, the evening’s host, began writing poetry at the age of 12 and performed her first poem at 17. She had the privilege of performing with actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, as well as actor and poet Malcolm Jamal Warner and Uman Bin Hasan of the Last Poets.  Although the spoken and written word is her first love, she is also a teacher and actress, having recently performed in the film “Second Chance” and in a Phoenix production of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Divine has been hosting the West Side Poetry Jam since its inception, and she and kafiah were featured in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance world premiere performance of “Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration” at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.

The West Side Poetry Jam will take place on ASU’s West campus in the Sands Classroom Building, Kiva Lecture Hall.  Tickets for the event are $5 general admission and $3 for students, and will be available at the door. Parking is free. The West campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.  For more information, call 602-543-ARTS (2787).