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UO Today with The BreakBeat Poets

"The break beat is the earth of hip-hop, what rappers began to run couplets over, they extended those couplets to make verses and choruses, and began to slant rhyme and then jam and extend the line break and jam in odd, thrilling places." This excerpt, read by Kevin Coval, co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, exemplifies the relationship between hip-hop and poetry, as explored in the anthology. In his words, hip-hop provides a platform to "shift dominant narratives...in ways that were undeniably fresh." This video features Coval and fellow poets Jamila Woods and Fatimah Asghar in conversation with Paul Peppis, Director of the University of Oregon's Humanities Center, discussing The BreakBeat Poets, a collection of "poets who are really wrestling with the aesthetics of hip-hop cultural practice on the page." Throughout the video (which is just under 30 minutes in length), the group examines how their roles as educators and poets intertwine, defines how hip-hop promotes "radical inclusivity," and recites some of their work featured in the book. The clip aired in 2015, but Oregon Humanities Center continues to post other interesting dialogues on their YouTube page, covering topics such as data ethics and diversity.
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2020-03-06

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