President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an evening of poetry on May 11, 2011 at the White House. According to Nancy Benac with the Associated Press, “the White House poetry night is part of a series of arts education events that Mrs. Obama has arranged over the past two years to promote different genres of music, dance and now literature. Most of the events have included afternoon workshops for young people and evening concerts”. Guest poets included Billy Collins, Common, Rita Dove, and Jill Scott.
President Obama, in his welcome speech at the event, said that “the power of poetry is that everybody experiences it differently. There are no rules for what makes a great poem. Understanding it isn’t just about metaphor or meter. Instead, a great poem is one that resonates with us, that challenges us and that teaches us something about ourselves and the world that we live in.”
I must commend the President and First Lady for their continued commitment to arts education and creative expression in a world so consumed with technological gadgets! They are the people’s First Family!
Peace : )
Check out the links below for remarks by the President and First Lady, and poetry performances by Jill Scott and Common.
President Obama’s remarks at The White House Poetry Night:
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at student poetry workshop:
Jill Scott at the White House Poetry Night:
Common at the White House Poetry Night: