Author Archive

The Pleas of Green: Sighs of Our Ailing Planet

Niyi Osundare’s newest collection of poetry lets the earth speak. He shows us how the planet is ailing via the direct address and the personification of the environment, forcing us to consider how we might help protect Earth from those who are killing it.

Ariel Francisco’s Poetry as Documentation

Governments may want people to provide documentation proving that they are, in fact, people, but poets provide documentation for the people. It is the poet’s job to document the moments that would otherwise be lost—to document moments for the people.

Finding Home in An American Sunrise

Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection accesses the painful memories and losses that so many of her people have suffered. But the strength of her poetry goes beyond just recounting the pain.

Solmaz Sharif’s Look and the Reclamation of the Stories of Those Redacted and Erased

While Solmaz Sharif’s poems tackle large subjects that concern large populaces, you can also see the power of the personal in her work. In fact, it is her personal journey that makes her 2016 collection universal: the closer you get to a subject, the more universal it becomes.

Milk Blood Heat’s Dreams Lost

Dantiel W. Moniz’s stories explore characters dealing with the loss of the people they share a home with; we see how their subsequent isolation and retreat to the worlds in their heads forms a connective tissue with the loves they’ve lost—and can result in the losing of oneself.

Community and Junk Food in Christopher Gonzalez’s I’m Not Hungry But I Could Eat

In Gonzalez’s book, we see characters going out to eat with each other, enjoying “junk” food that may be bad for them because it is the food they know, the poison they enjoy. In a world that poisons them daily, enjoying a meal with a friend is the best

Water, Stars, and Home in Things We Lost to the Water

So many refugees who are separated from their homes by seas and oceans and rivers, gravitate towards water; so many of them look up at the stars and wonder about the stories we don’t know. Reading Eric Nguyen’s novel, I think about how water can both separate you from

Storytelling and Inherited Trauma in Of Women and Salt

As we read Gabriela Garcia’s debut novel, we come to understand that because of the trauma generations past experienced, stories get silenced, whether because the people involved die prematurely or because they are so traumatized that they hope that by silencing their stories they can stop their own pain—or

Reading New Orleans Writers on Hurricanes and Home

When Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans, I was one of the lucky ones with family outside of the city that I could stay with to ride out the aftermath of the storm, when the poor infrastructure and the ways the powerful have ripped off the people comes to light

The Ghosts of the Unseen in The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You

Maurice Carlos Ruffin writes about fathers trying to reach their sons, about peoples recently released from prison, about fathers with dead daughters, about people experiencing homelessness, showing the erasure that they feel by writing about these unseen, and about the ghosts that try to reach them.