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Monmouth University’s Visiting Writers Series Opens with The Breakbeat Poets

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (September 6, 2016) – The 2016-2017 Visiting Writers Series opens with a reading by contributors to the new poetry anthology The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop on Thursday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium on Monmouth University’s campus. The BreakBeat Poets features 78 poets, born somewhere between 1961-1999, All-City and Coast-to-Coast, who are creating the next and now movement in American letters. Appearing at the reading will be contributing poets Angel Nafis and Morgan Parker along with anthology editors Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall.

Break Beat Poets

Once considered a fad subculture, Hip Hop became a powerful force permeating world culture like few art forms have done before. Over 40 years later, whole generations have grown up with Hip Hop as the soundtrack to their lives. The BreakBeat Poets is the first poetry anthology by and for the Hip-Hop generation. A multi-generational examination of life and poetry in the age of hip hop, The Huffington Post describes The Breakbeat Poets as, “A mixtape spanning the time from Hip Hop’s birth to its explosion. The pen and the mic are synonymous in this collection, each literary emcee recording a different perspective on what it means to live in this society. As you turn the page, the mic is passed on, and the cypher continues.”

Kevin Coval, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Nate Marshall are the editors of the anthology. The artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, Coval is the author of several poetry books, and the founder of Louder Than A Bomb, the world’s largest youth poetry festival. Lansana, a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute, is author of poetry, textbooks, and children’s books. Marshall received his MFA from the University of Michigan, and recently won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for his first book, Wild Hundreds.

Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012) and her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine and more.She has represented the LouderArts Poetry Project at both the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2011. Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Her second collection, There Are More Beautiful things than Beyonce, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in February 2017.

Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts Visiting Writers Series brings the most celebrated poets and authors from around the world (Andrei Codrescu, Colm Tóibín, Adam Zagajewski,) and our own back yard (Long Branch’s own US Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky) to the beautiful auditorium of the University’s centerpiece, historic Wilson Hall. With our Visiting Writers Series, we hope the audience will experience a renewed sense of their relationship to poetry and fiction, to language, and to be moved emotionally by that writer’s representation of what it means to be a human being, whether that experience is one of joy, celebration, longing, or sorrow.

For additional information, please contact the director of the Visiting Writers Series, Michael Thomas at 732-263-5635 or visit online at