by Martin Klimas
Happy to have my poems in the debut issue of Ishaan Literary Review, alongside work from Jeannine Hall Gailey. When I was studying at Western Kentucky University, Jeannine happened to be visited Tom Hunley’s Poetry class on the day that I had to present some of my poems. Afterwards, she told me that I should start submitting my work to literary journals. “Really?” I said. “Really,” she answered.
Thanks, Jeannine and congrats on the success of your new book.
by Hernan Paganini
Thanks to Jameson Fitzpatrick for doing this interview. Here’s an excerpt:
Saeed Jones’ debut chapbook of poems, When the Only Light Is Fire, charts a lush, humid nightscape where objects are transformed by distance and danger always lurks. Here, night has a throat. Trees turn their backs. A boy wears “a negligee of gnats.”
Counting influences as varied as Toni Morrison, Greek mythology and Alexander McQueen, the young poet is as unabashedly concerned with beauty as he is socially conscious. His slim 44-page collection, out November 15 from Sibling Rivalry Press, calls upon a multiplicity of voices and a strong sense of the magical to address the complexities of desire, violence and memory faced by a queer person of color from the South.
Over tea at his West Harlem home, Jones—who lived in Tennessee, Texas and Kentucky before moving north to complete his master’s degree at Rutgers-Newark—describes the chapbook as a love letter to who he was in the South. “But the letter’s been set on fire,” he explains. “That’s where we get the distortion, that’s why it hurts to hold. It’s turning to ash.”
Go here to read the rest.
This Wednesday, November 16, I will celebrate the launch of When The Only Light Is Fire with a special edition of Emotive Fruition at the Bowery Poetry Club. Three amazing actors (Stephanie Umoh, Luke Forbes & Matthew Johnson) will be performing poems from the chapbook. The process of getting to know these actors, witnessing them work through the poems, discussing their ideas and my inspirations, and then letting the actors transform words and images into moments has been amazing. If you’re in the City, you don’t want to miss this performance!
Doors open at 9:30pm & the show starts at 10:00pm. Tickets are $5 at the door.