Just Chillin’ With Carl Hancock Rux

Carl Hancock Rux rolls into town this week as he gears up for his Saturday night spoken word event here at CAP UCLA.

He brings with him a natural coolness, a vibe, an aesthetic heartbeat that is utterly engaging. Get a dose of what’s in store via this trailer.

Teaser: Carl Hancock Rux / The Exalted from FEATUREZOO on Vimeo.

We count ourselves extremely lucky that Carl is able to join us early and participate in some student engagement activities this week, including a classroom session Wednesday afternoon. And he will generously host “Free Form,” a very special open mic night for students on <Thursday night, an event organized by our awesome student arm, Student Committee for the Arts.

Carl has definitely become one of the poets in our lives this season as we have prepared to present him at UCLA for the first time.

We asked him the question we’ve been asking our audiences all year long: “Who is the Poet in Your Life?”

“There are thousands of poets in my life,” he said. “But three that I can think I cannot live without (and whose work I find myself constantly returning to) are Li Young Lee, Breyten Breytenbach, and Derek Walcott–particularly because of their ability to illustrate the conceptual and pictorial realms of poetry as biography, as memoir, as theater, as historical narrative…and political essay.”

Because Carl is infinitely cooler than me (a fact I admit have long suspected), I had to do a bit of research on these artists.

But hey, I’m open to bringing a few more poets into my life, so a bit of exploring served me well, perhaps you will feel the same way? I’ll get you started.

Li Young Lee—A child of Chinese political exiles, his collections of poetry traverse stories of his family’s life, gentle and profound tales of humanity and humility…and so much more.

Breyten Breytenbach—Also a visual artist, he is known as South Africa’s most important poet of the 1960s. A staunch anti-apartheid activist, he spent seven years in jail for treason and wrote “True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist” about it.

Derek Walcott—Nobel Prize winner and playwright, known for his epic Homeric poem “Omeros” set in the Carribbean. You can read an excerpt of it at The Poetry Foundation website.

I feel cooler already.

There are a very few seats left for Carl’s performance in the intimate Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater just down the way from Royce in Kaufman Hall.

Come join us, we can be cool together.

P.S. I find it incredibly heartening to know that in the dog-eat-dog modern media climate that a Magazine and foundation dedicated to all things poetry continues to survive. Viva La Poetry Foundation!