“The postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The New Yorker

Equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters, a two-hour PBS special on Endangered Languages, to Bob Holman it's all just part of the job. He's a poet. From Slam to Hiphop, from performance to spoken word, Bob's been a central figure in redefining poetry in the US as existing on, off, and beyond the page.


Author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me (2013) from Coffee House Press, Bob has been dubbed a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" by the New York Times Magazine. He's been featured in a Henry Louis Gates, Jr. profile in The New Yorker. He's been crowned "Ringmaster of the Spoken Word" (New York Daily News), "Poetry Czar" (Village Voice), and "Dean of the Scene" (Seventeen).


As an arts administrator, Bob's served as coordinator and readings curator at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, original Slammaster and a director of the Nuyorican Poets Café, as well as founder and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club. His study of Hiphop and West African Oral Traditions led to his current work with Endangered Languages—he is a co-founder and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance.


Bob's Upcoming Events

4:00 PM – Central Washington University: Craft talk with introduction by Provost Dr. Marilyn Levine, Dean Hall 104. 7:00 PM, SURC Theater: “Language Matters” film screening, followed by Q&A, book signing.

3:30 – Miami Book Fair International at Miami Dade College: Sing This One Back to Me: A Reading and Discussion with Bob Holman.

4:00 – Miami Book Fair International at Miami Dade College: The Life, Times, and Legacy of William S. Burroughs: A Centennial Celebration

6:00 – National Museum of the American Indian: This Language Matters premiere evening brings the documentary to life in New York City with endangered and mother tongue speakers performing and excerpts from the film introduced by director/producer David Grubin and host Bob Holman. A Native American blessing sets the stage for an event dedicated to showcasing local native speakers including the beauty of Hawaiian songs and chants; the colorful legacy of Yiddish; and the tongue twisting poetry of the Welsh language. In partnership with THIRTEEN, Poets House, and the Endangered Language Alliance.

4:00 PM – Exploratorium: The event at the Exploratorium brings together Welsh and Hawaiian language poets/musicians—highlighting two languages featured in the film—as well as Native American storytellers to perform in Mother tongues. Director/producer David Grubin and poet/host Bob Holman will screen short pieces of the film and lead a discussion with language activists and the audience about Bay area communities who are working to save their identities. In partnership with KQED.

Poetry Collections

Selected Poems

Live Performance Clips

Bob's YouTube Channel

On the Road with Bob Holman

The United States of Poetry

Bio & CV

Be in touch

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