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Press Bio

Founder of the Bowery Poetry Club and the author of 17 poetry collections (print/audio/video), most recently The Cutouts (Matisse) (PeKaBoo Press) and Sing This One Back To Me (Coffee House Press), Bob Holman has taught at Princeton, Columbia, NYU, Bard, and The New School. As the original Slam Master and a director at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, creator of the world's first spoken word poetry record label, Mouth Almighty/Mercury, and the Artistic Director of the Bowery Poetry Club, Holman has played a central role in the spoken word, slam and digital poetry movements of the last several decades, work that continues with the founding of Bowery Poetry Studios, where he hosts the poetry podcast "Mouth Almighty." A co-founder and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance, Holman's study of hip-hop and West African oral traditions led to his current work with endangered languages. He is the producer/director/host of various films, including "The United States of Poetry" and "On the Road with Bob Holman," His film, "Language Matters with Bob Holman," winner of the Berkeley Film Festival's Documentary of the Year award, was produced by David Grubin and aired nationally on PBS. Holman traveled for the film and led workshops at language revitalization centers across Alaska and Hawaii, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. His short film, "Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues," has lines of poetry in 50 languages, and premiered at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. In 2018, Holman was awarded the Chambra d'Oc Premio Ostana Award for his work in language revitalization. His roots are in Harlan, KY, and he currently lives on the Bowery in New York City.

Photo credits left to right, top to bottom: Chuck Close (2005), unattributed (2003), Guy Mendes (1970), Sam O'Hana (2016), Catherine Kucharski (1969), unattributed (2014), LINES Ballet (2017), Fort Gansevoort (2016), MTA (2017), Sam O'Hana (2017)