Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Last 3 Poetry Readings in NYC Are This Week

by Saeed Jones

It’s finally happening. I move out of my apartment in three days. I leave New York on Sunday morning. I leave the country for a year beginning on June 24. My flight to Madrid has been purchased. Movers are on their way to my apartment as I type.
It’s on! But before I go, I’m saying goodbye to my New York friends the best way I know how…

New Author Photo

Photo by Christine Zilka

What do you think?

“Need another double-black / kiss. I’ve got more hunger than my body can hold.”

by Sarah Garzoni

So happy to have my poem “Last Call” in the Drink-themed issue of Muzzle Magazine alongside my word-brother Rickey Laurentiis. Pour yourself a drink and then click here to read.

I, for one, prefer Johnnie Walker Double Black on the rocks.

All The Pretty Ones: On the Poetics of Beauty and Privilege

My latest piece for Lambda Literary is up and running. Here’s an excerpt:

To pretend that a conversation about beauty isn’t, in fact, a conversation about privilege is an act of privilege. When an emerging writer pens an essay praising Anne Sexton for her beauty without quoting any of her poems, I sigh. I go read an essay by Audre Lorde. I try to work on a poem, but can’t concentrate. I think about how few gay men were in attendance at the Adrienne Rich memorial reading at Columbia last month and I wonder if, perhaps, she wasn’t beautiful enough for them to show up.

And go here to read the rest.

Running Past What I Thought Was the End of My Self

by Lee Jung

When the only light is fire / I run past what I thought was the end / of myself.

There will never be a moment in my life (or yours) in which the following sentence isn’t both relevant and obvious: Everything is about to happen.

I’m about to travel the world for a year.

On June 1, 2012, I will have given most of my belongings to close friends for safe keeping and moved out of my apartment here in Harlem. The following day I will have brunch with those close friends in the East Village. That night I will perform at the Nuyorican with some old and new poet friends. What a perfect way to say “see you later” to the city that has taught and given and groped and loved me so fiercely.

On June 3, I will head to Memphis, the city where I was born, the city where my mother died and is now buried. A few days later, I will go to New Orleans to do research on a writing project. Then on to San Francisco for a week or so of memory making. In mid-June, I’ll make my way to Columbus, Ohio to perform at Columbus State Community College’s Pride event. Then I will head to Cave Canem’s poetry retreat in Pennsylvania. It will be my last destination in the United States for a year.

I will then fly to Berlin and begin my year abroad. My goal is to visit four continents while I continue to write poems and work on my demonic little memoir. Also, I will be writing for Ebony.com about my experiences while traveling. And — and! — I will maintain a wonderful international poetry memoir travel writing hybrid Tumblr.

Some of the places I hope to visit include Munich, Paris, Nice, Cannes, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bali, Buenos Aires, Montevideo.

I’m excited. I’m freaking out. I’m thrilled. I’m overwhelmed.

But hey — now you know.

Regarding The Infinite Ache

At some point, each of us – if we haven’t already – will learn how grief can turn holidays against us. The very occasions we once looked forward to become barbed and treacherous. It feels like a betrayal. By now, I’ve made it through the first cycle of my mother’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

My first piece for Ebony.com, “Infinite Ache: The First Mother’s Day Without Her” went up earlier this week and I have been blown away by the response. All I wanted to do was write an essay that would give readers a real sense of who my mother was as well as the reality of the first year of grief. In the last couple of days, so many of you have gotten in touch and said that the essay provided some comfort as they themselves prepare to face Mother’s Day without a parent. My heart is with you.

Love y’all.

“The relationship with Audre Lorde is just ongoing and life-long.” – Jacqui Alexander

A little under the weather today, but I’m really grateful to my friend Darnell Moore for pointing me to this video of Jacqui Alexander discussing her relationship with Audre Lorde. The clip is part of the Signified Project which is worth looking into as well.