Sunday, August 28, 2011

4-Time HBO Def Poet Kevin Coval on L-vis Lives! Book Tour + Singer NaJah Lewis + Open Mic - Thursday, Sept. 1

Mike Geffner Presents The Inspired Word features 4-time HBO Def Poetry star Kevin Coval celebrating the September release of his book, L-vis Lives: Racemusic Poems.

In addition to Kevin, we have special guest 17-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist NaJah Lewis + a 15-slot open mic open to ALL types of artists.

Hosted by 3-time Def Poet Gemineye.


Kevin Coval is the author of ALA “Book of the Year” finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, a collection titled Everyday People, and L-Vis Lives: Racemusic Poems (forthcoming). He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival, subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name, premiering on the Oprah Winfrey Network October 2011. A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio, and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval teaches at the School of the Art Institute and in high schools around Chicago.

L-vis Lives! is a bold new collection of poetry and prose exploring the collision of race, art, and appropriation in hip hop culture. L-vis is an imagined persona: a representation of artists who have used and misused Black music. Like so many others who gained fame and fortune from their sampling, L-vis is as much a sincere artist as he is a thief. In Kevin Coval's poems, L-vis' story is equal parts autobiography, forgotten history, and re-imaginings. We see shades of Elvis Presley, the Beastie Boys, and Eminem, and meet some of history's more obscure “whiteboy” heroes and anti-heroes: legendary breakdancers, political activists, and music impresarios. A story of both artistic theft and radical invention, L-vis Lives! is a poetic novella on all of the possibilities and problems of “post-racial” American culture.

You can order the book through this link -


Props for L-vis Lives!

"...part social aesthetic-activist determined to continue the Unfinished, Collected Works of John Brown, Coval has proven, at a time when many poets use metaphor and restraint to tiptoe around the tough issues of identity and borrowed race, that most L-vises have Souls."
—Thomas Sayers Ellis, author, Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems

“Nothing like it has ever been written. No one really talks about these white men of color. No one considers their origins or the source of their craving. No one has bothered to label this pursuit of Blackness a meaningful tribute or a persistent dysfunction. L-vis Lives! is a cultural touchstone, a book that will easily move into a space that’s been waiting for much too long.”
—Patricia Smith, author, Blood Dazzler, finalist for the National Book Award

"Tough and smart, real and surreal, aching and funny, in-the-tradition and startlingly original, the trials of L-Vis show us the challenges of giving up on whiteness--a process at once monumentally hard, too easy, and absolutely necessary."
—David Roediger, author, How Race Survived U.S. History


Born in Detroit but moving to New York City to pursue a musical career, NaJah Lewis is a 17-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist who recently won first place in a talent search competition. She has performed at the Thalia Cafe/Symphony Space, Lenox Lounge, Brooklyn Nights, Electric Relaxation, and Knaps. She was the youngest vocalist selected to perform as part of the Women in Jazz Showcase at this year's International Arts Festival.

When: Thursday, Sept 1, 2011

Where: One and One Bar & Restaurant (downstairs Nexus Lounge)
76 East 1st Street (corner of 1st Avenue)
Manhattan, NYC
Phone: (917) 703-1512
Doors open for open mic sign-up @ 6:30pm
Showtime @ 7pm

Cover Charge: $10


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