The New Social Environment#221

Radical Poetry Reading with Bob Holman

Featuring political poetry read by Samantha Thornhill, Dewi Prysor, Nancy Mercado, and Mohamad Hodeib.


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Poet Bob Holman curates the 23rd Radical Poetry Reading, featuring poetry read by Samantha Thornhill, Dewi Prysor, Nancy Mercado, and Mohamad Hodeib.

In this talk

Bob Holman

This is a portrait of Bob Holman. It is a pencil drawing on off white paper by the Rail's publisher, Phong Bui.
Portrait by Phong H. Bui

Bob Holman is an American poet and poetry activist, most closely identified with the oral tradition, the spoken word, and poetry slam. As a promoter of poetry in many media, Holman has spent the last four decades working variously as an author, editor, publisher, performer, emcee of live events, director of theatrical productions, producer of films and television programs, record label executive, university professor, and archivist. He was described by Henry Louis Gates Jr. in The New Yorker as “the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.”

Bob is a contributor of the Brooklyn Rail. His two new books, The Unspoken and Life Poem, were written 50 years apart. You can order them from YBK Publishers.

Samantha Thornhill

Samantha Thornhill
Photo by Jonathan Weiskopf
Samantha Thornhill is a poet, educator and published author from the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Formerly a poetry instructor for the Juilliard School, Poets & Writers and the Cooper Union, she has taught a wide spectrum of students across New York City for over a decade. An alumna of the University of Virginia and Cave Canem, Thornhill is frequently invited to share her work at festivals and university events in the US and internationally. In 2010, she cofounded Poetry in Unexpected Places, a New York Times–featured group that created pop-up poetry installations in public spaces. Her poems have been published in dozens of anthologies, journals and digital outlets. Her third children’s book, A Card for My Father, was published by Penny Candy Books, and she is currently completing her first book of poetry, titled The Animated Universe.

Dewi Prysor

Dewi Prysor
Courtesy of Dewi Prysor
Author, poet and historian. He has published six novels, two collections of poems, and a travelogue of his memories of following the Welsh national football team through France during Euro 2016, Ibuprofen S’il Vous Plaît!. Three of his novels reached the Wales Book of the Year Short List, and his 4th novel, Lladd Duw (‘Killing God’) won the Golwg 360 People’s Choice Prize in 2011. A regular columnist for Barddas he also adapts cartoon scripts into Welsh for S4C. He has in the past presented three history series’ for Welsh TV channel S4C, Darn Bach o Hanes (‘A Little Bit of History’) and Stori Pêl-droed Cymru (‘The Story of Welsh Football’). He is a keen mountain walker, an enthusiastic music lover, and a die-hard follower of the Welsh football team. He lives in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Nancy Mercado

Nancy Mercado
Photo by Ricardo Muñiz
The recipient of an American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement and named among the Frederick Douglass 200 on the anniversary of Douglass’ birthday, Nancy Mercado is the editor of the Nuyorican Women Writers Anthology published in Voices e/Magazine, a Hunter College City University of New York online literary journal. She is a guest curator for the Museum of American Poetics and assistant editor for; a web site dedicated to addressing the issue of climate crises. Mercado also created Eco-Poetry’s companion FaceBook page. Over the years, she has presented her work throughout the US and abroad for such institutions and places as, the University of Nantes, France, the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS), the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference (AWP), The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry Festival and in Havana, Cuba where she was invited to presented her work at Casa de las Americas.

Mohamad Hodeib

Mohamad Hodeib
Courtesy of Mohamad Hodeib
el-Walad (Mohamad J. Hodeib) is a Brooklyn-based cultural activist & producer, born and raised in Beirut. I experiment with words, flow, sound, and performance. Rambling between sidewalks, coffeeshops, bars and stages since 2009. Featured in numerous forums and art platforms including TEDx, Bowery Poetry Club and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Co-founder of el-Yafta (band of poets and literary circle). I host poetry shows and direct writers’ workshops since 2011. My first collection of Lebanese colloquial poems was published in 2013. Been stranded between Beirut and Brooklyn for some time now.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.