The Last Poets were formed in the US in the late 1960s, a period full of hope and dreaming of revolution and a time when the Black Panthers were at the height of their power. Taking their name from those who believed they were in the last era of poetry before guns would take over, these African American poets and musicians ignited the imagination of a generation - and laid the groundwork for the hip hop movement of the 1980s and 90s.
Dutch author Christine Otten was inspired to write about their lives - and there began a deep friendship and an acclaimed novel. We follow Felipe Luciano, David Nelson, Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan - a one time street kid who left for New York to become a poet - from the ghettoes of Detroit, New York, and Akron, Ohio to undreamed of success but also personal defeats. The revolution they hoped for never took place, and they saw their own black neighbourhoods were deluged with drugs. The FBI kept a close eye on them; and arguments, jealousy and suspicion soured their unity. But still they survived.