Catalina Maria Johnson to explore 'Latin Hip Hop as a New Poetry' Feb. 10

On Thursday, Feb. 10, the West Chicago Public Library will host Catalina Maria Johnson, Ph.D., an Illinois Humanities Road Scholar, journalist, and Beat Latino radio show host and producer, for "Latin Hip Hop as a New Poetry," a musical, informative, and interactive program.

Latin hip-hop artists are advancing the poetic traditions of their countries in unique ways.

Ana Tijoux from Chile was raised on protest songs and Pablo Neruda; Residente from Calle 13, Puerto Rico spits out rhymes as carefully crafted as any poet's; NiƱa Dioz from Mexico reads dictionaries to find the precise words to fit her ideas and rhymes; Xiutehzcatl from Boulder, Colorado rhymes in three languages: Spanish, English, and Nahuatlan ancient indigenous language.

Nevertheless, academia and poetic circles have surprisingly not embraced and celebrated these artists as poets.

This program, with video and lyric examples, will make a case for hip-hop as the new poetry with a focus on Latinos in the U.S. and the Americas.

The presentation, paired with slides and a rich set of musical videos, is lively, light and fun, and focused on participation, discussion, and musical enjoyment.

The program will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom.

You can register for this free program using the West Chicago Public Library's online event calendar at or by calling Adult Services at (630) 231-1552.

If you have any questions, contact Sara Lock at

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