“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.

language matters screened on qantas airways

The 2015 PBS documentary Language Matters with Bob Holman is being screened on Qantas Airways flights. Click here to watch the film, and to find endangered language educational resources. Language Matters was also featured on "That Munanga Linguist" blog!


KHONSAY: Poem of many tongues 

Co-ordinated with International Mother Tongue Day, the launch of KHONSAY: Poem of Many Tongues is directed by Bob Holman and produced by Steve Zeitlin. With 50 languages in 15 minutes, the film was featured at the 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival and won the Viewer's Choice Award at the Sadho Film Festival in New Delhi, India. An in-depth analysis of KHONSAY is available to tell you everything about the poets and languages.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet produce endangered language ballet in san francisco

Bob Holman is creative consultant to Alonzo King's LINES Ballet company, whose production for spring 2017 is a work inspired by endangered languages, which will tour worldwide later in the year. Read more about it at The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Mercury News. To find available dates and to buy tickets, click here.

House divided reading at the great hall, cooper union

With poet and painter Stefan Bondell, Bob Holman organized a marathon reading at Cooper Union's Great Hall to address these divisive times. Artists got to choose their style and content of address, and artists from across New York's Downtown Arts scene, as well as from across the country, took their turn to read at the podium where Abraham Lincoln once spoke in 1860. 

Photography by Sam O'Hana


Bob Holman talks with host Baloo about language activism, the "United States of Poetry" and the role of poets vs. actors. Can the camera write the poem? How do poets mediate between media? Find out about Bob's work with film, the oral tradition and endangered languages in this episode of 'Long Thoughts'.

Collaboration with dancer Molissa Fenley & painter Roy Fowler

"I wrote a suite, "Rue Surf"  for Roy Fowler's paintings, "New Wave" -- performed them with wonderful dancer Molissa Fenley. Roy's show is at Fort Gansevoort in Meat Packing, NYC." – bob

'Let's Talk', with MArtín Espada!

Bob Holman sits down with poet Martín Espada to talk about young thugs, Omar Khayyam, and "tiny silver hammers." Martín also reads from his new book, 'Vivas to Those Who Have Failed.'

'The Awesome Whatever' on itunes, spotify and apple music!

Ever wanted to hang out on the street with Pedro Pietri? 

on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and many more- it’s The 'Awesome Whatever'!

Live studio with my main motor scooter, multi-instrumentalist Vito Ricci.


Don't forget to check out the secret track!


The Bowery Poetry Club hosted a launch party for KHONSAY: Poem of Many Tongues. 

SOLSTICE 2016 also hosted a live stream of KHONSAY: Poem of Many Tongues, plus many other great international multimedia projects. SOLSTICE2016 will connected science, art, design, and technology in a global celebration across all 24 timezones. The multi-stream 24-hour event began during Happy Hour, 17:00 - 18:00, starting at the International Date Line and moving one hour at a time around the Earth. The stream featured art, music, and poetry from each timezone, sounds and videos of the earth from NOAA, indigenous and international poetry curated by Jerome Rothenberg and Bob Holman, music from 24 times curated by RIP and Adrian Hayman with Marc Nasdor and much more.  SOLSTICE 2016 shows the myriad and invisibly powerful ways that design pulls the strings of our world through gestures, languages, sounds, music, tools, art and even whole societies. 

Join the Facebook event here


Viewers around the world were able to catch the 24-hour feed throughout the Solstice period at http://solstice2016.com from their smart phones, tablets or laptops, or attend one of the intimate live Solstice Pilot Launch parties to connect with an international community of Solstice enthusiasts. The SOLSTICE 2016 website features highlights of the program and an interactively searchable database with contributions from our participants. It is an assembly of unique world music and historical solstice materials for each time-zone as well as poetry, stories and event listings.

freight + volume gallery to exhibit holman-Rand collaboration "invisible city"

The extended, 50 piece poetry-painting collaboration between Bob Holman and Archie Rand will show at Freight + Volume Gallery, New York September 9 – October 8, 2017. Find out more here.

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