Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Rap Canterbury Tales

The following information was released by Indiana University - Bloomington:

Baba Brinkman, a Canadian rapper and Chaucer scholar, will perform The Rap Canterbury Tales on Wednesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. The concert is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Hutton Honors College, located at 811 E. Seventh St.

Brinkman began writing his own rap lyrics and competing in freestyle competitions at the age of 19. He earned both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in Medieval and Renaissance English literature, and his master's thesis discussed the similarities between the narrative structures of rap music and Chaucer's poetry.

His research inspired him to write The Rap Canterbury Tales, which re-narrates Chaucer's classic tales of the Miller, the Pardoner and the Wife of Bath using the modern medium of rap to bring them to life for contemporary audiences. The Rap Canterbury Tales made its debut tour in 2004 and has since been recorded as an audio CD and published as an illustrated book.

Brinkman has toured The Rap Canterbury Tales extensively, taking the show to Prague, Montreal, Edinburgh, Melbourne, New York, San Francisco, London and other major cities around the world. The success of The Rap Canterbury Tales prompted Cambridge University to sponsor a performance tour of the piece to more than 30 British high schools. Brinkman is currently in the midst of an American tour of The Rap Canterbury Tales at universities and other venues.

Brinkman has released eight CDs of his original music. He began his own company (Babasword Productions) in 2004 and his own indie record label (Lit Fuse Records) in 2007. Brinkman has been featured on CBC, NPR, ABC and BBC Radio. When he is not touring, he lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Brinkman's IU performance is cosponsored by the Department of English, the Hutton Honors College, the Medieval Studies Institute and the Renaissance Studies Program.

For more information, contact Hannah Dubina at or 812-855-5296.