Now in its 14th year, “Passion & Poetry” is inspired by Joyce Littel’s desire to create a “romantic movement.” She noticed that even in relationships where there was love, passion was often missing. She wanted to create a forum that celebrated passion, and brought tasteful erotica to the main stage. Passion and Poetry became that vehicle. It is a show that features “grown folk’s poetry.” Leveraging the platform she had as a radio personality at V-103, she was able to introduce poetry to the city on a scale that eclipsed the sets that were being done in coffee houses and lounges around the city.
When asked how the poetry scene differs from the days when it originally exploded onto the scene; she replies that “poets and their promoters have become attention-seekers versus presenting a message.” “Pop culture has made everyone want to be a star.” As the first person to put poetry on the main stage, she was sought out for her knowledge and experience by others that followed her blueprint. Such as Russell Simmons, as he prepared to launch HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.”
This year, the show moves from its usual Valentine’s Day weekend slot, and “Springs Into Love” on March 16 at Center Stage. It will feature Malcolm-Jamal Warner waxing poetic about love and passion, live music and sensual dance. The vision for “Passion & Poetry” can be found in Littel’s philosophy that “love just makes life better when it comes from a genuine source.” –rhonda c. hight