Rives (poet)

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John G. Rives (born 1966) is an American performance poet, storyteller, and author. He has appeared on multiple seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam[1] and was a member of the Def Poetry international tour group. He has made multiple appearances at the TED Conference[2] and has published several pop-up books for children.

He co-hosted the television special Ironic Iconic America with Tommy Hilfiger, discussing how pop culture has influenced American tastes and styles.[3] Some of his most best-known performances on Def Poetry Jam include a story about poetry in the deaf community,[4] a description of his post-coital bliss[5] and the performance "Dirty Talk" about what people say during sex.[6]

Rives is a regular at the annual TED Conference, and is co-host of the TEDActive conference, which brings together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, where he earns standing ovations.

He’s appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on the last four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.

He was the 2004 National Poetry Slam runner up, winning 7th place, his greatest success.

TED talks[edit]

His presentations at TED have included the following:[2]

  • "If I controlled the Internet"
  • "A mockingbird remix of TED2006"
  • "The 4 a.m. mystery"
  • "A story of mixed emoticons"
  • "Reinventing the encyclopedia game"
  • "The Museum of Four in the Morning"


External links[edit]