Breakbeat Poets Live! (Chapter 1)
Hosted by Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin, The BreakBeat Poets Live is a virtual, multi-generational showcase of some of the illest writers on the planet rock. Each chapter features writers and performers who are part of the Haymarket Books family.
Kevin Coval is a poet and author of A People’s History of Chicago and over ten other collections, anthologies, and chapbooks. He is the founder and editor of the BreakBeat Poets series for Haymarket Books, artistic director for Young Chicago Authors, and the founder of Louder than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.
Idris Goodwin is the playwright, producer, educator, who coined the term “breakbeat poet.” He is the author of Can I Kick It? and the Pushcart–nominated collection These Are the Breaks. His publications also include Inauguration, cowritten with Nico Wilkinson, and Human Highlight: An Ode to Dominique Wilkins and This Is Modern Art, both cowritten with Kevin Coval.
Comprised of two gifted musicians, The O’My’s channel their experiences and perspective into gritty, polished music that grabs listeners with its sound, and holds them with its content. Nick Hennessey and Maceo Vidal-Haymes, two Chicago natives, man the keys and guitar respectively, with Maceo handling vocal duties.
Penelope Alegria is the Chicago Youth Poet Laureate for 2019-2020 and a two-time member of Young Chicago Authors’ artistic apprenticeship. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in La Nueva Semana, Muse/A Journal, The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT, and elsewhere. She is a Brain Mill Press Editor’s Pick and was awarded the 2018 Literary Award by Julian Randall. Her poem, “Papa’s Deli Order,” will be animated and showcased at international film festivals as part of ARTS By the People’s “Moving Words” initiative. She has performed spoken word at the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit, Pitchfork Music Festival, and other venues in the Chicagoland area. She is a graduating high school senior and will be attending Harvard College in the fall.
Tarfia Faizullah is the author of two poetry collections, Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf 2018) and Seam (SIU 2014). The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, three Pushcart prizes, and other honors, Tarfia has been featured in periodicals, magazines, and anthologies both here and abroad. Tarfia presents work at institutions and organizations worldwide, and collaborations include photographers, producers, composers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists, resulting in several interdisciplinary projects. In 2016, Tarfia was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change. Tarfia is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow.
Krista Franklin is a writer and visual artist, the author Too Much Midnight (Haymarket Books, 2020), the artist book Under the Knife (Candor Arts, 2018), and the chapbook Study of Love & Black Body (Willow Books, 2012). She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and a frequent contributor to the projects of fellow artists. Her visual art has exhibited at Poetry Foundation, Konsthall C, Rootwork Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Studio Museum in Harlem, Chicago Cultural Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the set of20th Century Fox’s Empire. She has been published in Poetry, Black Camera, The Offing, Vinyl, and a number of anthologies and artist books. She currently teaches Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
chicago born and raised, roy kinsey is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to tradition in his respective industries. where being a black, queer-identified, rapper, and librarian may be an intimidating choice for some, roy kinsey’s non-conformist ideology has informed his 4th album, and self proclaimed, “best work yet,” blackie: a story by roy kinsey.
featured in and on major local, national, and international publications like Billboard, NPR, WBEZ’s Vocalo, the Chicago Tribune, WGCI and the RedEye, his “deft skill for storytelling,” is proving to have wings like the "flying africans" of old that he raps about on his latest project. kinsey’s latest video BSAYF, exploring black queer identity and spirituality, premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art (mca), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harold Washington Cultural Center and the Dusable Museum. he has shared his lyrics on the stages of Lincoln Hall, Logan Square Auditorium, Wild Hare, The Shrine, and Soho House, and has recently done a series of performances/exhibitions with the Chicago Public Library’s seasonal book and theme programming of race and music, One Book, One Chicago.
his professional development in librarianship has fueled his desire for self examination and then reporting his findings, in rhyme. he intends and believes the success of his present and future creative works will touch the hearts of many because it comes from the heart.
kinsey is a librarian in the Teen Services/Youmedia department for Chicago Public Libraries.
Willie Perdomo is the author of The Crazy Bunch, which recently won the New York City Book Award for poetry, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Smoking Lovely, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. He is also a co-editor of the BreakBeat Poetry Series anthology, LatiNext. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, The Best American Poetry 2019, and African Voices. He is currently a Lucas Arts Literary Fellow and teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy.