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Special Event

Danny Simmons Presents a Def Poetry Jam Reunion – ft. Roberto Lugo

June 20 2024 6 - 9:30PM
Price: $30 GA | $15 members | $12 students | FREE Sustainer + Benefactor members
Danny Simmons Presents a Def Poetry Jam Reunion – ft. Roberto Lugo
Roberto Lugo, 'Put Yourself in the Picture', 2022

Join us for an exploration of word flow, verses and landscapes as Danny Simmons brings a Def Poetry Jam Reunion to Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) featuring poet and master ceramicist Roberto Lugo. This partnership is inspired by our 2023 acquisition of Lugo’s 20-foot vessel Put Yourself in the Picture, which is now installed, outdoors on our 42-acre campus. The piece is the largest work Lugo had made, to date, and was created as part of his 2022 exhibition at GFS. The title of the vessel was pulled from a poem, performed by legendary rapper, teacher, poet, and philosopher KRS-one, at Def Poetry Jam (a spoken word poetry television series) where KRS-one stated “..visualize wealth and put yourself in the picture”. We are thrilled to partner with poet, painter, and philanthropist Danny Simmons as he curates Def Poetry Jam Alumni to share their poetic practice on one night at Put Yourself in the Picture (outside of the Museum Building). The evening includes the opportunity to explore our gardens and collection, a DJ to get our evening started, two food trucks for pay as you go flavors, two New Jersey poets and Def Poetry Jam Alumni sharing their craft.

42 acres, 10 poets, 2 food trucks and a 20-foot vessel: Come join us for an evening of poetry in the garden!  

Poets may use adult language and/or themes. Limited seating available onsite. Guests are invited to bring their own chairs or blankets.



  • 5:30-6:30PM*:  Exclusive Talk for Sustainer and Benefactor level Members, Advanced Registration required to attend* – Danny Simmons and Roberto Lugo unite to talk about the importance of legacy and building community | Register or upgrade to attend Exclusive Talk


Poetry at Put Yourself in the Picture

  • 6-7PM: DJ ItJustAhmad warms up the evening spinning beats
  • 7-7:05PM: Nasir Square
  • 7:05-7:15PM: Toni Blackman
  • 7:15-7:25PM: Derick Cross
  • 7:25-7:35PM: Ursula Rucker

– Intermission –

  • 8:20-8:35PM: Jamaaladeen Tacuma
  • 8:35-8:40PM: Shadura Lee
  • 8:40-8:50PM: Danny Simmons
  • 8:50-8:55PM: Kraal “Kayo” Charles
  • 8:55-9:05: Abiodun Oyewole – The Last Poets
  • 9:05-9:15PM: Roberto Lugo

Poetry performances hosted by Starfire


Learn more about the Poets

Rain date: Thursday June 27, 6-9:30PM

Program accessibility information available.


A Def Poetry Jam Reunion is supported in part by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Roberto Lugo, Put Yourself in the Picture, 2022, mixed media, 240 x 132 x 324 inches, Grounds For Sculpture, Partial Gift of the Artist and Partial Purchase, Funds Provided in part by the Kunz/Guindo/Lombard Family & Friends in Loving Memory of Camille Lombard Kunz, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

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