Past Event

Word: Across Generations with Quraysh Ali Lansana, Adrian Matejka, Angela Jackson, FM Supreme, and Kevin Coval

Join us for an afternoon of poetry, conversation, and sunshine as some of the most prolific and profound poets in Chicago come together. Each of the poets will perform their work and participate in a post-performance conversation, moderated by spoken word artist Kevin Coval about the power of words.

This intergenerational and intercultural event will include Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University and author of They Shall Run-Harriet Tubman Poems and southside rain; Adrian Matejka, author of Mixology; Angela Jackson, acclaimed poet, playwright, and fictionist; and FM Supreme, Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam champion. The event will be emceed by Kevin Coval and music will be provided by DJ Seanile from Tomorrow Kings.

Taking place at Englewood’s new Perry Mansion Cultural Center, this outdoor program is not to be missed! Reservations are recommended and can be made online, by email at, or by calling 312.422.5580

This event is co-sponsored by Perry Mansion Cultural CenterThe Monsignor John J. Egan Urban Center at DePaul University, and Young Chicago Authors. It is part of The Public Square’s "Looking for Democracy Through the Arts" series made possible in part by the Woods Fund of Chicago.

Special thanks to Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen for donating refreshments for this program.


Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of They Shall Run–Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, April 2004) and the poetry collection southside rain (Third World Press, 2000); a children’s book, The Big World (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and a poetry chapbook, cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). He is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s African American Literature Reader (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001) and I Represent and dream in yourself, two anthologies of literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37 (Tia Chucha Press, 1996 and 1997, respectively). He is also co-editor of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art (Third World Press, 2002). He is currently Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing and an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago State University. He is also a former faculty member of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division. Quraysh also serves as Poetry Editorial Review Board Director for Third World Press, Associate Editor-Poetry for Black Issues Book Review, and serves on the Editorial Board of Tia Chucha Press. Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV (PBS).

Kevin Coval is the author of everyday people and slingshots (a hip-hop poetica), named Book of the Year-finalist by The American Library Association. Coval’s writing has appeared in The Spoken Word Revolution and The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (SourceBooks), Total Chaos (Basic Civitas), I Speak of the City: New York City Poems (Columbia University Press), The Bandana Republic (Soft Skull Press), Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reporter, Cross Currents, and Crab Orchard Review; seen on C-SPAN, WGN; and can be heard regularly on Chicago Public Radio, where he is resident poet and hip-hop correspondent. Coval is the founder of Louder Than A Bomb, the largest youth poetry festival in the world. He is poet-in-residence at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, a faculty member at The School of the Art Institute and University of Illinois-Chicago, and Minister of Hip-Hop Poetics at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Angela Jackson is a poet, playwright, and fictionist. First published nationally in Black World in 1971, Jackson’s first book of poetry, Voodoo Love Magic was published by Third World Press in 1974. She won the eighth Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Award in 1973; the Academy of American Poets Award from Northwestern University in 1974; the Illinois Art Council Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction in 1979; a National Endowment For the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction in 1980; the Hoyt W. Fuller Award for Literary Excellence in 1984; the American Book Award in 1985; the DuSable Museum Writers Seminar Poetry Prize in 1984; Pushcart Prize for Poetry in 1989; ETA Gala Award in 1994; Illinois Authors Literary Heritage Award in 1996; six Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards; five for fiction and one for poetry; The Carl Sandburg Award; Chicago Sun-Times Friends of Literature Book of the Year Award; an Illinois Art Council Creative Writing Fellowship in Playwriting in 2000; and in 2002, the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America. Jackson’s published poetic works include: The Greenville Club, 1977 (chapbook); Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E, 1985; The Man with the White Liver, 1987; Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners, 1993; and All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems New and Selected, 1997, which was nominated for the National Book Award. Her plays include Witness!, 1970; Shango Diaspora: An African American Myth of Womanhood and Love, 1980; and When the Wind Blows, 1984 (better known as the eta production entitled, Comfort Stew). Jackson is working on Treemont Stone, a novel, Lightfoot: The Crystal Stair, a play and her memoir, Apprenticeship in the House of Cowrie Shells and more poems.

Adrian Matejka is a graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is a Cave Canem fellow and his poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly, among other journals and anthologies. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden, won the 2002 New York/New England Award from Alice James Books. His second collection, Mixology, a National Poetry Series winner (selected by Kevin Young), will be published by Penguin in May 2009.

FM Supreme is not only a talented lyricist and emcee but also an active community member. When she isn’t performing with MC Lyte, Kool Herc, Dirty Digital, N.O.R.E, Boys II Men, The Clipse, Billy Branch & the SOB’s, or Saul Williams, FM Supreme is mentoring young children.  The lyricist also spoke at the 2006 National Hip Hop Convention where she discussed misogyny in hip-hop, gentrification, and education among other topics. FM SUPREME has also used spoken word as a platform for her empowering messages leading to the title Poetry Slam Champion of Chicago’s youth slam competition, Louder Than A Bomb. During the past four summers, FM Supreme has independently produced and released her own CDs (The Diary of a Mad Black Woman Mixtape (05), Forever Maroon EP, Basik Gumbo LP, The Beautiful Grind Mixtape), and orchestrated the release parties. She also created the "Backseat Passenger Tour" with DJ Itch 13. The seven-day tour featuring Chicago’s own Jyroscope, included stops in Chicago, New York, and Boston, at landmark locations like the Nuyorican Poets Café. FM Supreme has been featured in Venus Zine’s as a "Ten Artist to Watch" in the 2008 summer issue, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, WTTW, and WGN.

DJ Seanile has been a dj for over ten years, getting his start at family parties then branching off to clubs and special events. He is bringing back the old school sound of hip hop, soul, funk, and breaks and incorporating knowledge into his music giving him a different feel from other djs. Completing the amazing trio Jyroscope and the collective Tomorrow Kings, DJ Seanile is able to be a part of a change, the Tomorrow Kings movement.

More about our partners

The Monsignor John J. Egan Urban Center (EUC) represents DePaul University’s tangible and enduring commitment to the research, development, deliverance and transfer of innovative education-based programs and services that have a significant social impact. The mission gives concrete expression to the University’s Vincentian commitment by extending opportunities for DePaul to collaborate with the Chicago community to alleviate poverty, promote social justice and address critical urban problems through teaching, service and scholarship.

Perry Mansion Cultural Center believes that "the blending of cultures through art" allows for a multi-faceted approach to enlarging the community of art lovers, providing cultural awareness, and inspiring youth through creativity and educational opportunities. The restored, four-story Queen Anne Victorian that houses the Perry Mansion Cultural Center exhibits work by local, national, and international artists. We also present a program of live events featuring music and spoken word. The Center celebrates the many cultures that make up the fabric of Chicago.

Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy through creative writing, performance and publication. YCA provides student-centered, artist-led workshops free to youth ages 13-19 in schools and communities. Our process emphasizes artistic development, mentorship, and creating safe spaces where a young person’s life matters. We believe that through their words, young people can promote tolerance and remove barriers to transform their lives and society.


For more information, call 312.422.5580.