racemusic poems

By Kevin Coval


Haymarket Books (September 2011, world English rights)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781608461516 • US $16 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in • 100 pgs.



An American archetype, “L-vis” lives! in this poetic journey of artists past and present who useand misuse Black culture.


“This book is bold, brave and morally messy – twelve rounds of knock-down, drag-out shadowboxing against a shapeshifter. The dark humor, intellectual fervor, and emotional rigor Coval brings to bear animates these pieces, turns caricatures to characters, implicates us all. It’s about time.”

Adam Mansbach, author, Go the F**k to Sleep


“A new, glowing voice in the world of literature.”

Studs Terkel


“L-vis is an unstinting excavation of race and culture, art and ownership. Though dubbed ‘post-racial,’ Coval reminds us America is a country in which race is always receding but ever returning to the center of our consciousness. With poignancy, humor, and no small amount of soul, Coval has fashioned a poetry for the present.”

Adam Bradley, co-editor, The Anthology of Rap


“Tough and smart, real and surreal, aching and funny, in-the-tradition and startlingly original, the trials of L-Vis show us the challenges of giving up on whiteness — a process at once monumentally hard, too easy, and absolutely necessary.”

David Roediger, author of How Race Survived U.S. History



Kevin Coval is the author of Slingshots and Everyday People, and co-founder and Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival. A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio, and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval teaches in schools around Chicago.


A People’s History of Chicago

Human Highlight: An Ode To Dominique Wilkins (with Idris Goodwin)


This Is Modern Art: A Play (with Idris Goodwin)

The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
DutchSebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianBerla & Griffini Rights Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.