Chicago Sun-Times
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Mayda Del Valle, Chicago poet, featured at White House poetry jam


WASHINGTON--Chicago poet, writer, performer Mayda del Valle, a 1996 graduate of Maria High School, is one of the featured players Tuesday night at a White House celebration hosted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle.

The evening entertainment will focus on poetry, music and what the White House called the "spoken word." White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers reminded me that a poety slam is a competition; this is a non-competitive jam

Featured performers include: actor James Earl Jones: author Michael Chabon his wife, essayist Ayelet Waldman; vocalist Esperanza Spalding; pianist Eric Lewis; actor, writer Lin Manuel Miranda and Del Valle. Also on the bill: Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio- HBO's Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Finalist, Joshua Brandon Bennett- HBO's Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Finalist.

You can follow the event live--6:45 p.m. Chicago time at


Poetry and music are known through out history, to sooth the soul of a savage beast and move mountains by changing the world for the better!

The recently written and produced poetry song "RIVERS TURNING RED" and inaugeration poem for President Obahma, will leave the country and world feeling a sense of enlightenment, hope and peace...

Also, with faith that the vision for change will come, through truth and courage of President Obahma and the people...

Written, produced and performed by poet laureate for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums: songwriter John Hughes...

I (John Hughes) request sponsorship to the next poetry jam, as feature to deliver this powerful, truthful and soul touching message for change!

Thank you for your time and consideration...

Spirit of Peace,
John A. Hughes

This is cool. I'm reminded of Robert Pinsky, 'Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry", wherein he writes, “Though the United States assuredly is a great nation, the question remains open whether we are a great people or are still engaged in the undertaking of becoming a great people. A people is defined and unified not by blood but by shared memory.”
In writing off the "slam" notion, Baldwin wrote that some writing can be "so pallid and so harsh" that it requires far too much explanation.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 12, 2009 3:21 PM.

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