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dateDecember 9, 2015 timeWednesday, 6:15pm EST location The Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
  • Heyman Center Public Humanities Initiative
  • Center for Justice at Columbia University
  • Free and open to the public
  • First come, first seated

An evening of justice poetry featuring the editors and contributor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop. Poets read from their new and published works related to issues of justice and discuss the events and experiences that inspired them. Poet and activist Messiah Ramkissoon will open the event with a poem dedicated to the memory of Kalief Browder, and Columbia Adjuct Professor Morgan Parker with close the evening with a poetry selection. During the discussion period, the poets will be joined in conversation with the widely acclaimed rapper Pharoahe Monch.

Kevin Coval is the poet, author and organizer the Chicago Tribune called "the voice of the new Chicago" and the Boston Globe says is "the city's unofficial poet laureate". Author of Schtick, L-vis Lives!: Racemusic Poems, Everyday People, Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, and More Shit Chief Keef Don't Like. Coval is the founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, the world's largest youth poetry festival, which has expanded nationally & internationally to other cities since 2010 when the documentary film by the same name premiered in film festivals around the world. Coval is the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, LTAB's non-profit home, and teaches hip-hop aesthetics at The University of Illinois-Chicago. He is a 4x HBO Def Poet and has written for, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio in Chicago, The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (Source), Handbook of Public Pedagogy (Routledge), 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History (Haymarket) and It Was Written: Reading Nas's Illmatic, ed. by Michael Eric Dyson (Basic). Coval is the recent recipient of a New Voices/New Visions award from the Kennedy Center for a play he co-authored with Idris Goodwin about graffiti writers titled, This is Modern Art - which premeried at Steppenwolf Theater in the winter of 2015. His latest projects include The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, released in April 2015 on Haymarket Books and organizing the 16th Louder Than a Bomb.

Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. His first book, Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. He is an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. His rap album, Grown, is due out in 2015 with his group Daily Lyrical Product. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wabash College. He formerly served as a Zell Postgraduate Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he received his MFA. He is a founding member of the poetry collective Dark Noise. A Cave Canem Fellow, his work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Indiana Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. He was the star of the award winning full-length documentary “Louder Than A Bomb” and has been featured on the HBO Original Series “Brave New Voices.” He won a 2015 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Nate won the 2014 Hurston/Wright Founding Members Award and the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award.

Angel Nafis is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Union Station Magazine, MUZZLE Magazine, Mosaic Magazine and Poetry Magazine. She has represented the LouderArts Poetry Project at both the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2011. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the founder, curator, and host of the quarterly Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon reading series. She is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems across the United States and Canada, she lives in Brooklyn.