A People's History of Chicago by Kevin Coval

A People's History of Chicago, by Kevin Coval

From the catalog: "Named Best Chicago Poet by the Chicago Reader, Kevin Coval channels Howard Zinn to celebrate the Windy City's hidden history. In 77 poems (for the city's 77 neighborhoods), Coval honors the everyday lives and enduring resistance of the city's workers, poor people, and people of color, whose cultural and political revolutions continue to shape the social landscape of Chicago." Library copies are available in print and as ebooks on OverDrive. 

Why this title?

"Coval's poetry is all about empowering hidden voices," says Librarian and One Book Coordinator Margita Lidaka, adding that "this book covers all the bases, relating so well to the library's strategic objective to act intentionally to ensure diversity, inclusion, equity, and safety. It is also the first time the library is reading and discussing poetry as a community-wide effort."

About the author

Poet and community builder Kevin Coval is the author of 10 books, editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and co-writer of the play This Is Modern Art, which premiered at Steppenwolf Theater in 2015. Additionally, he is the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors—winner of a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2016—founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and co-host of the WGN Radio podcast The CornerStore. His work has appeared on The Daily Show, four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, CNN.com, Poetry Magazine, and the blog Fake Shore Drive. He is the editor of the Haymarket Books imprint BreakBeat Publishing, which is dedicated to publishing radically fresh voices and teaches hip-hop poetics in high schools, colleges, and community centers around the globe. Find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @kevincoval.

From PoetryFoundation.org: "Coval was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and educated at Ohio University, the University of Wales, and DePaul University. His brave, socially engaged poems weave together personal experience and calls to action. The Chicago Tribune has named him "the voice of the new Chicago" and the Boston Globe calls him "the city's unofficial poet laureate."

Watch Coval's appearance on The Daily Show >

About One Book, One Oak Park

In its fifth year, One Book, One Oak Park is our community-wide summer reading program for adults and teens. It offers neighbors, families and friends opportunities to connect, learn, and grow by reading and discussing themes explored in one specific title.