KU News Release

Nov. 8, 2011
Contact: Tony Bolden, African and African-American Studies, 785-864-3043

Author to talk on poetics of hip-hop

LAWRENCE — Rap is more than a collection of beats, a string of words and a cultural force full of bluster and hype. Rather, it’s poetry, hidden in plain sight. Adam Bradley, author of “The Anthology of Rap” and co-author of Common’s memoir, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” will share his insight at “Make It Funky: The Poetics of Hip Hop” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The event is free and open to the public.

“Bradley demonstrates that there are remarkable intertextual relationships between the aesthetics of rap and the prosody of such canonical poets as John Milton and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to name a few,” said Tony Bolden, associate professor of African and African-American Studies, who invited Bradley to KU.

After Bradley concludes his lecture, there will be a panel of respondents and a question-and-answer session. Panelists are Nicole Hodges Persley, assistant professor of theatre; Glenn North, poet-in-residence at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; Howard Rambsy II, associate professor of literature and director of the Black Studies Program at Southern Illinois University; and Kenton Rambsy, a KU graduate student who studies in the English department.

Bradley is an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he teaches courses in African-American literature and culture. Also a writer on black popular culture, Bradley’s commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal as well as on PBS, NPR and C-SPAN.

Bradley is the co-editor of the posthumous publication of Ralph Ellison’s “Three Days Before the Shooting…: The Unfinished Second Novel” and the author of a critical study of Ellison’s life and work titled “Ralph Ellison in Progress.” “Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop” and “The Anthology of Rap” deal with the topic of the poetry of hip-hop and that a “a new world of rhythm and rhyme awaits us if we only put aside our preconceptions and approach rap with new ears and new eyes,” according to his website.

The event is sponsored by the African and African-American Studies Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office for Diversity and Equity, the Hall Center, the English department and The Project on the History of Black Writing.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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