Yesterday, I taught Franz Kafka’s short story, “A Hunger Artist” to my Beginning Creative Writing class. It was deep, to say the least. So deep that it sent me into some kind of weird tailspin of contemplating my place in the world as a poet, writer and human being and I think that’s why I’m […]
Have you ever found out about a writer or a singer and you were so enchanted–then found out the writer’s book had been out for five years or the singer had been making records for so long and you wondered where the heck you’d been to miss it? Well, that’s how I felt today, listening […]
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but I am fascinated by old, Black men. It’s strange, because most old, Black men I know are seriously sexist, but for some reason, that doesn’t bother me in the least. That’s part of their complexity, what makes them, well, fascinating.
Some of y’all know that my poetry deals with African American music. Though I’m primarily known as a blues poet, all forms of Black music and how these affect our culture and who we are as a community have been a preoccupation of mine for a while. An essay of mine, “Blues for Tar Baby: […]
Now, I usually just let y’all decide which of my “You Gotta Read This” podcasts you want to listen to all on your own, because all of y’all are grown and I don’t like to be pushy. But this Lucille Clifton podcast was a moment I haven’t ever experienced; it was really a blessed evening.
As I hope y’all remember from a past “You Gotta Read This” feature, Camille Dungy is the fabulous, sassy editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, which, by the way, was featured on NPR, and is the NUMBER ONE book of African American poetry and the NUMBER THREE anthology of poetry […]
Hey Y’all: I asked my mentor, Jerry Ward, Jr. to comment on what poetry should be, for National Poetry Month, and he was so sweet to send me something. It is, of course, brilliant. By the way, have you been keeping track of Poetry Daily’s Poetry Picks? Remember what I said about poetic segregation just […]
I’ve got a special place in my heart for Alice Walker. My mother, Trellie James Jeffers, was her seventh grade teacher back in the day in Eatonton, Georgia at Butler-Baker High School. Miss Alice even wrote my mama a poem back then, though she wasn’t my mama then, of course. And she didn’t have the […]
I know I’m late, again. I should have had this post waiting for you this morning instead of posting at lunchtime. But I hope you will forgive me and join me in celebrating Melvin B. Tolson’s birthday today! Let’s be proud of the poet who gave us “Dark Symphony,” “Harlem Gallery,” and “Libretto for the […]
I woke up this morning, knowing I had forgotten something. And my good friend and mentor, Afaa Michael Weaver, reminded me just now on Twitter. It’s Langston Hughes’s birthday, y’all! And what sort of blues poet would I be if I didn’t celebrate this day?! I love that the first day of Black History Month […]