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Smokey Robinson reinvents himself as a performance poet


Motown man will present six poems in a new spoken-word show, taking people on 'a walk through his history'

Smokey Robinson is to perform his poetry at an event in Los Angeles this weekend.

The former Motown singer will appear on Friday and Saturday at North Hollywood's El Portal Theatre, performing Words: a "spoken-word programme built around several long-form poems," according to the Los Angeles Times. "These poems are masterpieces," producer Brian French told the paper. "They're long, interesting and really impactful."

The 72-year-old is not new to poetry. "I have been [writing poems] all of my life," he told the LA Sentinel. "A song has to have some uniformity. Something that familiarises people with it because you're trying to sell it … but poetry is freedom and you can write however and whatever you want."

This weekend's show will be directed by Robinson's wife, Linda Cevallos-Smith. He is apparently considering taking the production on tour, and may release a DVD. "[Smokey] talks about growing up in Detroit, his musical background, his love for women, his love for God, his love for humanity," French explained. "He sings a little bit, a cappella, and takes people on a walk through his history."

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