The BreakBeat Internationally Known Workshops

The BreakBeat Internationally Known Workshops

A full day featuring three cypher-style workshops with the BreakBeat Poets for just £30

Hip-hop meets poetry with the boundary-smashing BreakBeat Poets. This one-day workshop is for people who love hip-hop, for people who have never read a poem, for people who think that poetry is only something written by dead white men – and those who already have a penchant for poetry. Breaking with the past and honouring the tradition(s) we inherit, the BreakBeat Poets are scribes recording and remixing a fuller spectrum of experience of what it means to be alive in this moment.

Join writers and editors of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop Kevin Coval, Safia Elhillo and Nick Makoha as they share work shaping the next and now movement(s) in poetics across the globe and lead a series of cypher-style workshops rooted in the vibrancy of hip-hop aesthetics.

The three Internationally Known Artists will each run three back-to-back workshops throughout the day, with up to 15 people per workshop, in rotation:

Group 1: Workshop A with Kevin Coval, then B with Nick Makoha, then C with Safia Elhillo

Group 2: Workshop B, C, A

Group 3: Workshop C, A, B

You will be allocated to your workshop group on the day. The fee covers all three workshops.

Please note: this course will take place at our new venue at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water.

About Kevin Coval, Safia Elhillo and Nick Makoha View Profile

Poet and community builder Kevin Coval is the author of 10 books, including A People’s History of Chicago, 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,, Poetry Magazine, and 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 Twitter and Instagram @kevincoval.

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, she received a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and an MFA in poetry at the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, receiving a special mention for the 2016 Pushcart Prize, and recipient of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation, and Crescendo Literary and The Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Incubator.  Safia’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Callaloo, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, among others, and in anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Japanese, Estonian, Portuguese, and Greek. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).  Safia has shared her work on platforms such as TEDxNewYork, Under Armour’s “Unlike Any” campaign, the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and TV1’s Verses & Flow. She was a founding member of Slam NYU, the 2012 and 2013 national collegiate championship team, and was a three-time member and former coach of the DC Youth Slam Poetry team.

Nick Makoha‘s debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He won the 2015 Brunel International Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. A Goldsmiths, Cave Canem & Complete Works Alumni, his poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. Find him at

Related Courses