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Poetry Briefly: J.Ivy Wins the GRAMMY® Award for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album

James Ivy Richardson II, professionally known as J.Ivy, is the Grammy Award winner for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. His album, The Poet Who Sat By The Door, is a masterclass in showing spoken word artists how to use their words to unite and heal. J.Ivy is the first winner of this inaugural category and is also responsible for its inception.

Watch J.Ivy's iconic poem 'Dear Father', performed at Russell Simmons' Def Poetry.

J.Ivy is a servant leader, a voice for the culture, and an inventive spoken-word dignitary who envelopes all that he has learned into the advancement of his craft while always aiming to help the next creative generation.

"I feel our superpower is the ability to listen. This is especially true for creatives. I strive to listen to my heart, soul, ancestors, God, and what's going on in the world; and I do my best to translate that poetically," he said in an interview with Ebony Magazine.

In his emotional speech at the Grammy Awards, J.Ivy thanked his high school English teacher for making him do his first show, for which he received a resounding standing ovation. Thirty years later, he is one of Chicago's most prominent writers and spoken word artists and one of the first to receive recognition from the Recording Academy.

The Poet Who Sat By The Door dances between recurring themes of endurance, love, passion, oppression, inspiration, faith, and healing. "Man, I actually am the poet who sat by the door. I need to use that for a movie or album or something," he said about how the album's name and concept came to be. The album features a star-studded cast of artists such as PJ Morton, Ledisi, Omari Hardwick, Musiq Soulchild, BJ the Chicago Kid, and multi-award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend.

This spoken-word album is a truly collaborative body of work, and the recognition of J.Ivy's commitment to poets and poetry is well deserved.

Are you interested to hear what a Grammy Award-winning spoken-word poetry album sounds like?

Stream The Poet Who Sat By The Door now, and tell us what you think.

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