beat & beyond: A gathering

Friday June 3rd - Wednesday June 8th 2016

Howl Happening and Bowery Poetry Club

Figuring out where to go after growing up in Kentucky and Ohio is pretty easy with a Pocket Poets Series copy of 'Howl' poking me in my back pocket, reminding me: New York City. The Beats changed everything, my life among many others. I first met Allen at a party at Greg Masters' apartment– there was Allen, doing the dishes, my first taste of Life Lived in the Service of Poetry.

Now I'm directing, with Jane Friedman, Beat and Beyond: A Gathering, a six-day explosion with Los Auténticos and a huge rush of a posse of others. I've even composed a Cento for the event with lines from all the Beats who are invited, and you can find it here. Poetry is much better when you live it, and I strongly suggest that from June 3rd to 8th you take up residence at Howl Happening, Bowery Poetry, Bowery Electric (The Fugs, The Last Poets), and the St Mark's Poetry Project 24/7 for Beat & Beyond: A Gathering.

“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.