Hip-Hop, Youth, and Cultural Resistance
KEVIN COVAL and HENRY CHALFANT in conversation
Saturday, September 3, 2011 - 4:00pm
For more information or to register, click here.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=219623988088087
IN THE THREE decades since its birth in the South Bronx, hip-hop has gone global, as voiceless youth make themselves heard from the streets of Cairo and boroughs of London, to the cities and suburbs of America. Join poet Kevin Coval, hailed as "voice of the new Chicago" by the Chicago Tribune, and legendary filmmaker and photographer Henry Chalfant, producer of Style Wars, for an evening of spoken word and conversation on hip-hop's role in articulating the demands and concerns of alienated youth, as we face a time of profound crisis and newfound resistance.
Coval will perform select poems from his new collection L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems (Haymarket Books, September 2011), a poetic novella which explores the collision of race, art, and appropriation in American culture.
About the speakers:
Videographer and photographer HENRY CHALFANT's 1983 documentary Style Wars introduced television audiences to graffiti art. Tracing the exploits of seminal writers like Skeme, Dondi, and Seen in their quest go "all-city," the film is a living snapshot of a culture in the process of being born.
Called "a new, glowing voice in the world of literature" by Studs Terkel, KEVIN COVAL is author of Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, Everyday People, and L-Vis Lives!: Racemusic Poems. He is co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name. A 4-time HBO Def Poet, Coval teaches at the School of the Art Institute and in high schools around Chicago.
Sponsored by Haymarket Books, Urban Word, Hip Hop Theater Festival, and the Brecht Forum.
Sliding scale: $6/$10/$15-Free for Brecht Forum Subscribers.
* * *
L-vis Lives! is a bold new collection of poetry and prose exploring the collision of race, art, and appropriation in hip hop culture. L-vis is an imagined persona: a representation of artists who have used and misused Black music. Like so many others who gained fame and fortune from their sampling, L-vis is as much a sincere artist as he is a thief. In Kevin Coval's poems, L-vis' story is equal parts autobiography, forgotten history, and re-imaginings. We see shades of Elvis Presley, the Beastie Boys, and Eminem, and meet some of history's more obscure “whiteboy” heroes and anti-heroes: legendary breakdancers, political activists, and music impresarios. A story of both artistic theft and radical invention, L-vis Lives! is a poetic novella on all of the possibilities and problems of “post-racial” American culture.
KEVIN COVAL is the author of ALA “Book of the Year” finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica and Everyday People. He is also the Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival which he co-founded. Coval has performed at hundreds of universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters in seven countries on four continents. A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval is former poet-in-residence at The Jane Addams’ Hull House Museum and is currently faculty at The School of the Art Institute. He has taught creative writing and spoken-word performance workshops in Chicago high schools for over ten years.
"Kevin Coval is a new, glowing voice in the world of literature. In his voice is our hope for a new world of peace, grace and beauty."
“The new voice of Chicago... brilliant, funny, magnificent and intensely personal.”
“One of my favorite poets.”
* * *
IF YOU would like to discuss hosting a reading, performance, workshop, or screening, please contact Jon Kurinsky at Jon@haymarketbooks.org. For media requests, please contact Sarah Macaraeg at Sarah@haymarketbooks.org.
MORE INFORMATION on L-vis Lives!, including an excerpt and advance praise, can be found at: