CHORUS – A Literary Mixtape
We (all poets) are the voice of the Chorus- like in ancient Greek theater- the chorus was always the voice of the people, the voice of reason, the voice of democracy. This book is simply a way of encouraging ALL POETS to continue voicing ideas, dissent, visions, dreams, and manifestos. Hip Hop once truly represented the voice of the people, however, much of it has been co-opted by capitalistic ideals and values- thus this literary mix tape. The voice of the modern poets, slammers, and spoken word artists is where we now must turn for confirmation of the ideas that shape counter-culture. Not even punk rock is punk rock anymore. But those who do speak up, who do add their voice, their minds and hearts, to the continued struggle to uplift the disenfranchised are ALL part of the CHORUS. Get it? It’s not about who is and isn’t in the book- we could do ten more if we wanted to see more voices represented- the point is that you are all voices of the Chorus. Use this site as your Agora, your amphitheatre, your Odeon, one of many.
CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape
Edited by Saul Williams
with Dufflyn Lammers & Aja Monet
CHORUS is the anthem of a new generation of poets unified by the desire to transcend the identity politics of the day and begin to be seen as one. One hundred voices woven through testimony and new testament. It is the cry of the unheard. The occupation of the page itself. It embodies the “speak-up” spirit of the moment, the confidence propagated through hip-hop, and the defiant “WTF?” of the now. It is the voice that comes after the rebellious voice that once cried, “I want my MTV!” branded back to where punk was, slammed up and beyond it. A combination of trash, heart, and craft. An anthology in rant.
CHORUS is what all modern-day losers chant.
Last year I put a call out through social media for poets to send me their writings for the sake of a literary experiment which I hoped to engineer. Within one month I received approximately 8000 poems from which I, with the help of Aja and Dufflyn, selected 100. I then put the titles and authors aside and attempt to fuse 100 voices into one. Themes arose organically, as did the sequence of the poems (The many contributors are listed in the back, like film credits.) I then highlighted words throughout the length of the book to create a "meta-poem", furthering the fusion of the many voices into one.
CHORUS is the newest testament of a living generation. A testament that affirms that sometimes we stand on the shoulders of previous generations, while other times we are forced to stand on their necks.