There’s a pretty good argument that spoken-word performance poetry is one of the few underground art forms still largely untainted by commercial interests. Take, for instance, the Smashmouthification of rock music, whereby a once iconoclastic form has become merely a vehicle for injecting new soda flavors and financial instruments into the marketplace. But Madison Avenue hasn’t yet leveraged poems to move refrigerators, so tonight head to Jazz Poetry Jams at the Blue Room (1616 East 18th Street, 816-474-2929). For three hours starting at 7 p.m., the evening includes guest poets, an open-mic competition and live jazz. The featured performer is Georgia Me, nom de guerre of Atlanta poet Tamika Harper, an original member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Admission costs $5. For more information, see americanjazzmuseum.com.
Tue., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., 2008