Audience packs Leo's Den
for Def Poetry Jam
Posted December 9, 2005

Amira Seyoum
Staff Writer

Rhythm, prose and talent brought a full crowd to the Eturnale’ D’Vine poetry jam at 8 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Leo’s Den was filled to its capacity with 112 people listening attentively.

“The performances were amazing,” Mt. San Antonio College student Cliff Baker said. “I mean, I seriously walked away wanting to write something myself.”

Students, poets and community members sat on the floor, stood in the back and even sat outside by the door.

Dozens of poets, guitarists, singers and def poets, veterans of the renowned Def Poetry Jam, performed throughout the night.

“The quality of the performers was just awesome,” said event coordinator Monique Chambers.

Guitarist John West dazzled the crowd with his opening number and set an uplifting mood for the event.

Additionally, artists such as David M. Oliver, known under the alias of Judah 1, gave spectacular performances throughout the evening.

“I thought the event was pretty cool and the crowd was really nice,” Oliver said.

“I go to Chaffey College and for a night time event during the week you’d be lucky to get that kind of crowd,” he added.

The event provided two hours of entertainment, emitting profanity and vulgarity.

“The show was like a spiritual enrichment without going to church,” Chambers said.

?“None of the poets said what spirit or higher power they follow because we are not trying to influence people (based) on our religious belief,” Chambers added.

Although the event was sponsored by the Campus Activity Board and the Coalition for Diversity, Chambers recruited the poets and spent several months organizing the event, but her effort was worthwhile.

“To see the results I know my work wasn’t in vain,” Chambers said.

For the second consecutive year, Chambers has planned and organized the show.

“Monique is such a cool person for doing this and I respect her as an artist,” Oliver said.

Chambers said that she accepts her talent in prose as a calling from God and that she should reach out and share it with others.

She hopes that other poets will keep this new tradition alive when she is no longer a part of it.

“I would love if a younger student or someone had interest and I could show them the ropes and they continued it but right now I’m just indifferent about it,” Chambers said.

Overall, the crowd and performers alike agreed that the event was successful and some in attendance said that they would attend similar events in the future.

“I think Monique did a really good job and I’m glad she asked me to be there to speak,” Oliver said. “I would definitely do it again next year if she asks.”

Amira Seyoum can be reached at aseyoum@ulv.edu.

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