The author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me (Coffee House Press), Bob Holman has taught at 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 founder/proprietor of Bowery of the Bowery Poetry Club, Holman has played a central role in the spoken word and slam poetry movements of the last several decades. 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. Holman is the producer and host of various films, including “The United States of Poetry,” and “On the Road with Bob Holman.” His most recent film, “Language Matters with Bob Holman,” winner of the Berkeley Film Festival’s 2015 Documentary of the Year award, was produced by David Grubin and aired on PBS in January. “Language Matters” takes viewers around the world: to a remote island off the coast of Australia where 400 Aboriginal people speak 10 different languages, all at risk; to Wales, where Welsh, once in danger, is today making a comeback; and to Hawaii, where Hawaiians are fighting to save their native tongue. Holman worked with language revitalization centers across Alaska and Hawaii 2015, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. He lives in New York City, where he was most recently Creative Consultant at LINES Ballet in San Francisco, and teaches at Princeton University.
This event introduces key themes of the upcoming Global Justice for Indigenous Languages Symposium on April 21