If you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re pulling out all the stops* for our 2nd anniversary with a two-night event. But as with all other nights, we’re telling stories about the South Side that have something to say about all of Chicago. One of the people who’s been doing a lot of thinking and writing about all of Chicago’s neighborhoods is one of our Night Two speakers: Kevin Coval.
Kevin is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians.
He is the author and editor of 10 books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.
His most recent collection of work, A People’s History of Chicago was released this month by Haymarket Books. The book, in Kevin’s words, seeks to “retell some of the best and most radical and real and celebratory and difficult parts of our Chicago story we often times forget or didn’t know in the first place. In this time especially, we need look back at the progressive legacies we inherit, the radical stream we swim in and be emboldened to create and fight for a city/country that is more just, equitable and fresher for all.”
Immediately after the launch, Kevin and Young Chicago Authors guest artists embarked on a year-long journey within Chicago’s 234 square miles, leading 180 sessions in libraries, high schools, museums, community centers, dive bars, and places of worship in each of the 77 neighborhoods.
Kevin lives in Albany Park and will read selections from his new book on Night Two of the Frunchroom. RSVP below or click the Night One link to see our first reader lineup. See you at 730opm at Beverly Woods Restaurant!
* Despite this phrases’s origin, we will not have an organ on the premises.