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The New School

Meet the future of Chicago’s poetry scene.

Above:Jamila Woods (center) with five poets featured in a new anthology she co-edited.

Three years ago, the anthology The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop heralded a generation of Chicago bards—people like Eve Ewing, Fatimah Asghar, Nate Marshall, and singer-songwriter Jamila Woods—who “do what Gwendolyn Brooks told thousands of young writers in Chicago and everywhere: Tell the story that’s in front of your nose,” as Kevin Coval wrote in his introduction to the book.

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This month, local publisher Haymarket Books is back with a second volume, Black Girl Magic, edited by Woods, Idrissa Simmonds, and Mahogany L. Browne. “The first book was about how hip-hop influenced the craft of poetry,” says Woods. “This edition is about highlighting black women within that tradition.” Those include rapper Noname, a Bronzeville native, as well as established poets such as Morgan Parker, Angel Nafis, and Aja Monet.

Here, we shine a spotlight on five local poets featured in the new collection.

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hair and makeup: Nika Vaughan with nika vaughan artists using NARS cosmetics

Video: DS Shin

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