Poet Kevin Coval is Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and a co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival. Here he reads from Nelson Algren's 1951 essay on Chicago, the "city on the make."

This performance was part of "The People Speak, Live!" with Matt Damon and Lupe Fiasco at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People's History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.

Here's how narrator Idris Goodwin introduced Kevin's reading that night:

Nelson Algren lived mostly on Chicago’s north side, but he was a White Sox fan. The Chicago establishment wasn’t always so keen with his depictions of what he called “drunks, pimps, prostitutes, freaks, drug addicts, prize fighters, corrupt politicians, and hoodlums.” His books were at one point banned from Chicago public libraries. Algren supported the Rosenbergs, protested the Vietnam War, and joined the John Reed Club in the 1930s. All this merited his surveillance by the FBI. Poet Kevin Coval, co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb, who helped bring tonight’s show to Chicago, reads from Algren’s 1951 essay “Chicago: City on the Make.”

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