posted November 11, 2008

Visiting Writers Series to Feature Toni Blackman

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature Hip Hop performance poetry by Toni Blackman on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Poet Toni Blackman was the first Hip Hop artist selected to work as a Cultural Ambassador traveling with the U.S. State Department. She has performed in more than 16 countries and has shared the stage with a host of artists including Mos Def, Sheryl Crow, Sara McLachlan and Wu Tang Clan.

Hip Hop historian and poet Kevin Powell has said that "just as Langston Hughes and the Beat writers embraced jazz as a way to frame their pursuit of higher truths, Blackman grabs the mic literally as if life depended on it, carving for herself a space where words are sacred, and where her literary objectives soar."

Blackman is the author of "Inner-Course: A Plea for Real Love," published in 2003. She is currently at work on her debut album and on her second book.

A live performance by the Hope College Jazz Ensemble will precede the reading at the Knickerbocker beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Additional information may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/vws.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.