So happy to have my poem “Blue Prelude” in the current issue of Jubilat alongside work by L. Lamar Wilson, Eduardo Corral, and Kimiko Hahn among many others. Also, I have poems in the current issues of Hayden’s Ferry Review, West Branch, & Spillway.
Also, grateful to Zahra Darby for this interview about When The Only Light Is Fire. I love being able to have conversations about poetry on this level because, without fail, I learn so much about my own ideas when I have to justify them. Here’s an excerpt:
Thank you for beginning [the interview] with Toni Morrison because, in many ways, hers was one of the first voices that taught me how to speak. I mean “speak” in the sense of using language to stake a claim to my life. Most of the poems in this collection were written because, in one way or another, I needed them. In the same way that a kid creates an imaginary friend to get through the terror that is childhood, I wrote these poems. I wrote “Mississippi Drowning,” for example, because I was drowning in news story after news story of queer men and women of color being attacked, brutalized and killed. It seemed to me then, and now, that the only way a gay or trans person of color makes the news is by dying horribly. I wrote “Mississippi Drowning” because I needed a way, any way, of answering that outrage. Whether or not, the poem holds up to a critical reading is beside the point because the need – and the language that answered that need – is deeply personal.
And I discuss queer mentorship in my most recent column for Lambda Literary: “Over Coffee With Melvin Dixon”. Here’s an excerpt:
Perhaps Melvin Dixon, at this very moment, takes another sip of coffee, arches an eyebrow at the young writer sitting across the table from him, and says, “Baby, what do you mean you haven’t heard of Bruce Nugent?” The young writer blushes, then writes down “Smoke, Lilies & Jade” in his notebook, promising to read it as soon as he can get to the library.