*Originally released April 2018
On this episode, Lissa Jones sits down with author A. Rafael Johnson to discuss his debut novel, The Through (Jaded Ibis Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. Johnson tells us about the process of writing The Through, how he came to magical realism as genre, and how his own life experiences informed the novel. He also introduces us to Kimbilio Fiction, a fellowship program dedicated to advancing the work of African Diaspora writers. Johnson became a Kimbilio Fellow in 2014.
A. Rafael Johnson began his career working in the Austin, Texas theater scene on stage and behind the scenes, later he began to focus on his writing eventually earning an MFA from the University of Alabama, though he interrupted his studies to teach in Liberia as part of USAID-funded reconstruction. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Kweli Journal, African American Review, and other publications. Johnson co-owns TerraLuna Collaborative, a social justice-focused consulting firm based in Minneapolis. He has co-produced Writer’s Resist – Twin Cities and Banned Together. He currently teaches Magical Realism at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Learn more about his work at arafaeljohnson.com.
Episode 34 – A. Rafael Johnson
On this episode, Lissa Jones sits down with author A. Rafael Johnson. He was named a Kimbilio Fellow in African American Fiction in 2014. Last year he published his first novel, The Through, which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. Johnson co-owns TerraLuna Collaborative, a social justice-focused consulting firm based in Minneapolis.