“The postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.” 

—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The New Yorker

Equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters (2015 Documentary of the Year, Berkeley Film Festival), to Bob Holman it's all just part of the job. He's a poet. From slam to hip-hop, from performance to spoken word, he's been a central figure in redefining poetry as it exists on, off, and beyond the page.

Author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me from Coffee House Press, Holman has been dubbed a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" by the New York Times Magazine. As a professor, he's taught at Columbia, NYU, Bard, and the New School. As an arts administrator, he's served as coordinator and curator at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and was the original Slammaster and a director of the Nuyorican Poets Café. A scholar of oral traditions in West Africa and beyond, Holman co-founded the Endangered Language Alliance, where he currently serves as co-director.

Bob Holman & Salieu Suso perform "How Kora Was Born" at Speaking in Languages on the Edge, a showcase of Welsh, Mexican indigenous languages, and Native American languages, among others

PBS NewsHour sits down with poet and host Bob Holman to discuss Language Matters and what's truly lost when a language disappears.