The BreakBeat Poets is for people who love Hip-Hop, for fans of the culture, for people who've never read a poem, for people who thought poems were only something done by dead white dudes who got lost in a forest, and for poetry heads. Join editors or the series and award-winning poets Kevin Coval, Safia Elhillo and Nick Makoha for an afternoon of BreakBeat readings and discussion of poetry as an art form with deep political, cultural and social resonances.
About the poets: Poet and community builder Kevin Coval is the author of 10 books, including A Peoples History of Chicago
, editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop
and co-writer of the play This is Modern Art
, which premiered at Steppenwolf Theater in 2015. Additionally, he is the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, winner of a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2016 -founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and co-host of the WGN Radio podcast The Cornerstore. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @kevincoval.
Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, she received a BA from NYUs Gallatin School of Individualized Study and an MFA in poetry at the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, receiving a special mention for the 2016 Pushcart Prize, and recipient of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).
Nick Makoha debut collection Kingdom of Gravity is shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He won the 2015 Brunel International Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. A Goldsmiths, Cave Canem Complete Works Alumni. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. Find him at www.nickmakoha.com