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Everyday People Paperback – December 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 91 pages
  • Publisher: EM Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970801270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970801272
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,761,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A hip-hop writer writing against type, given his white, Jewish, suburban origins, Coval is more seasoned and tapped into the depths of Chicago life and literature in his second collection, following the bristling Slingshots (2006). In “Sunrise” and a towering tribute to Jane Addams, he’s a veritable reincarnation of Carl Sandburg, only now the city’s stalwart workers are “toiling in the death / of industry.” Coval’s affinity for Chicago’s crazy-quilt of ethnicities and races, the dreams of immigrants and seekers, infuse his poems with lamentation and exaltation as he celebrates uniqueness and commonality. Funny, sexy, and empathic, he riffs on the knot of family and the revelations kicked up by chance encounters, meditates on America’s sorrows and beauty as he rides cross-country trains and a subway that rises from the shadows to the light on elevating tracks. Curious about everyone’s story, Coval is an enemy of complacence and a believer in cross-pollination, and like the corner store he describes, his well-stocked poems contain “beef jerky and sandalwood incense,” that is, earth and spirit, body and soul. --Donna Seaman

Review

Kevin Coval is a new, glowing voice in the world of literature. He writes- indeed, speaks, for it is his voice we hear singing. It is a bleak and dangerous time for all mankind. And yet, we shall, despite horrendous evidence, prevail and survive- and hopefully, grow as we glow on hearing his eloquent tribute to our species. In Kevin Coval s voice is our hope for a new world of peace, grace and beauty. --Studs Terkel

A hip-hop writer writing against type, given his white, Jewish, suburban origins, Coval is more seasoned and tapped into the depths of Chicago life and literature in his second collection, following the bristling Slingshots (2006). In Sunrise and a towering tribute to Jane Addams, he s a veritable reincarnation of Carl Sandburg, only now the city s stalwart workers are toiling in the death / of industry. Coval s affinity for Chicago s crazy-quilt of ethnicities and races, the dreams of immigrants and seekers, infuse his poems with lamentation and exaltation as he celebrates uniqueness and commonality. Funny, sexy, and empathic, he riffs on the knot of family and the revelations kicked up by chance encounters, meditates on America s sorrows and beauty as he rides cross-country trains and a subway that rises from the shadows to the light on elevating tracks. Curious about everyone s story, Coval is an enemy of complacence and a believer in cross-pollination, and like the corner store he describes, his well-stocked poems contain beef jerky and sandalwood incense, that is, earth and spirit, body and soul. Donna Seaman --American Library Association Booklist

The only poet to garner praise from the likes of ninety-six-year-old author Studs Terkel and actor and rapper Mos Def. POETS & WRITERS Magazine, Chicago has an identity so strong it makes other cities look ambivalent by comparison. It's not the prettiest city, but it has nothing to hide... everyone here is nose-to-the-grindstone, even the writers... like Kevin Coval, the city's unofficial poet laureate. THE BOSTON GLOBE, There is nothing everyday about the brash, unbridled wail of Kevin Coval. A spirited spitter of pinpoint and necessary stanzas, Kevin displays a stunning knowledge of the human heartbeat as well as the frailties and strengths of those of us tied to its drum. Blessed with a signature voice is that shaman/lyricist/rebel/teacher, KC is at the forefront of a new aesthetic, Everyday People is the revolutionary rulebook that has come to guide us, non too gently, into an era that will change everything. PATRICIA SMITH, author of Blood Dazzler, 2008 National Book Award Finalist, In the tradition of Gwendolyn Brooks, Kevin Coval is fierce enough to excavate the beauty and horror of our time, offering us bold and centered meditations, reporting what Chicago looks like in the hip-hop era. Everyday People points us past our fears to possibilities. BAKARI KITWANA, author The Hip-Hop Generation, At turns lyrical and fierce, the work of hip-hop poet Kevin Coval is intrinsically a product of Chicago. Everyday People is a paean to the city where he earned his chops... Coval is as accomplished as a poet working in 2008 could reasonably be... THE ONION --Poets & Writers, Boston Globe, Patricia Smith, The Onion

More About the Author

KEVIN COVAL is the author of ALA "Book of the Year" finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica and Everyday People. He is also the Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival which he co-founded. Coval has performed at hundreds of universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters in seven countries on four continents. A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval is former poet-in-residence at The Jane Addams' Hull House Museum and is currently faculty at The School of the Art Institute. He has taught creative writing and spoken-word performance workshops in Chicago high schools for over ten years.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. O. Aptowicz on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
In his follow up to his popular "Slingshots (A Hip Hop Poetica)," Chicago poet Kevin Coval continues to interpret and re-interpret the world around him in his second book, "Everyday People." While other poets may take their seemingly unpoetic situations and make them poetic, Coval does the neat trick of reminding us of the inherent poetry in everything he sees, from a city's "merengue of pigeons" ("Reasons To Be Late to Dinner"), to the old Italian man "who picks glass and plastic bottles / like fruit he is gathering for a pie" in a city party so that "children can float / between jungle gym bars / like squirrels or ferries / tarzans or olympians" ("After Dawn in Dana Park"), to "the sun / birthing out of Lake Michigan's wet mouth / blush[ing] Chicago a rainbow" "(Sunrise").

As his bio states, Coval is a performance poet who travels the global spreading the gospel of verse, and his poems reflect that: spotlighting another poet's going away parties in Normal, IL on one poem ("Leaving Normal"), to the lusty blasphemy of being a Chicago poet falling in love with New York City in another ("Lured Beneath Your Golden, Calling Lights"), to perhaps my favorite poem in the entire book: "Ode to the Open Mic Host," a honest, wry and necessary poem celebrating the tireless arts organizers which keep cultural scenes alive.

It's a vibrant yet intimate book. Coval seems to sharing with the reader what he has been able to figure out, the poems themselves more confident than questioning, sometimes more of a statement than a journey.
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Format: Paperback
With a scalpel-sharp pen, Kevin Coval's poetry in "Everyday People" severs muscle and tendon of the too-often and too-easily stereotyped. He cuts away scar tissue of decades old comfort zones where I and many others have sat on seats of self-righteousness and judgment. His scathing lyricism - melody that bites - sweeps away all pretension. "Right" and "Left" are not spared. We are left with humanity, right where we are.

I've looked at the everyday people on my bus and train commutes and while walking and haven't seen them. Coval has cut away my blindness and I am a better person for it, an everyday person. My humanity has been nourished by his poetry. I've been less sharp with my tongue concerning the people I encounter everyday whom I don't know personally, but now whose personhood I respect more fully; and, in doing so with "them" I see and rejoice in my own everyday-ness.

The voice that speaks through these poems is one that needs a megaphone. My regret is that I didn't hear this voice decades ago. The bright light for Chicago is that this voice is infuencing young and old in the city and can continue to have some bearing on the direction of real Education in this particular troubled spot of our troubled world.

This would be Coval's "Opus Magnus" but for the fact that he has other "greatest" works shared and more to come.
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Format: Paperback
Like his hero Krs One - Coval flips many styles. In Everyday People he gets his Studs Terkel on - reporting on the Chicago (city and suburban) he observes around him. There is power, beauty and tragedy in these carefully crafted bars. Get your life right and get a copy on your shelf right now!
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