“My greatest influences are those moments in my past where I’ve been surprised, or where I’ve surprised someone. Those are the moments that stay with me. Reading Jonathan Goldstein’s book Lenny Bruce is Dead was one of those instances where I was profoundly surprised.”
A discussion with Jonathan Jacob Moore regarding Frank Ocean, blackness, queerness, presence/absence, music, and Moore's recent poem "frank ocean and all black things that disappear on their own."
“Poetry is a space in which logic plays a secondary role to imagination and feeling, and that can be a really great playground for a young person who is trying to define themselves and understand the world (i.e., all young people).”
From childhood, we’re taught to see ourselves as others see us. We learn to synthesize “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” into a whole through a complex process of self-identification. We see who and what we’re taught to see, a looping phenomena that means we’re literally made up of story.
“We live in a late-capitalist situation where if something is not worth money then culture says it’s not worth anything at all.”
Naoko Fujimoto’s lyrical, musical poems are written across distances—whether it’s the personal distance between the poet and the personas she adopts, or the psychological distance of writing from the U.S. about the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Poet and educator Kyes Stevens believes we should all make space for human beings to be the beautiful, rich, complicated, messy folks that we are. Art and poetry help provide this space for all people, and Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project helps provide this space for prisoners.
Cheryl Julia Lee is the author of the poetry collection We Were Always Eating Expired Things (Math Paper Press, Singapore), which was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016. She is pursuing her PhD in contemporary fiction at Durham University.
I got to know Colson Whitehead back when he was infiltrating the poker world for his non-fiction narrative, The Noble Hustle. His new novel, The Underground Railroad, has been honored by none other than Oprah Winfrey with her latest book club selection.
In the days after the police killing of Tamir Rice, I came across the writing of Stacia Brown (including her essay For Tamir, Who Was Stolen). Her writing on Black motherhood drew in this young reader who rarely clicked on links about motherhood.