‘I want to read something that tells me about about the strength of black women, the joy of black women.’ – writer Debra J. Stone

In "Grandma Essie's Vanilla Pound Cake," writer Debra J. Stone remembers an important moment in her childhood, and Minnesota history, when the adults in the family grappled with the news that her grandparents' home in St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood, along with many others, would be destroyed to make way for the I-94 corridor. This pivotal …

‘I was scared in a way that didn’t ask me to run from it, but asked me to stand in it’ – acclaimed poet Danez Smith on writing, mortality, and poetry as a medium for exploring the self

We are so excited to have finally had the opportunity to speak with award-winning poet and Minnesota native Danez Smith. Smith, who uses the pronouns they/them/their, spoke with host Lissa Jones about their genesis as a poet (they came to poetry through performance at Central High School in Saint Paul and credits renowned educator Jan …

‘So much of my life has been decided by people who didn’t want to imagine that I would be there’ – poet Julian Randall

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you," writes Maya Angelou in her seminal work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In his award-winning debut collection, Refuse (emphasis on the first syllable, but used for its homographic ambiguity), the poet Julian Randall is beginning to tell the stories of his life, his …

“With each poem I had to say: how is this going to be different than the story they’re running from?” – poet Patricia Smith on her award-winning collection, ‘Incendiary Art’

"We have to figure out, not only some way to write the story, but how to draw people to the story and keep them in it," says poet and spoken word artist Patricia Smith of the work of poets in the fourth season premier of Black Market Reads - her most recent poetry collection, Incendiary …

Cave Canem poet Mary Moore Easter on her new collection ‘The Body of the World’

*Originally released March 2018 What if the ancestors spoke to you and it came out as poetry?  In this episode, Lissa Jones talks with writer and educator Mary Moore Easter about history, family, poetry, and her newly published poetry collection titled The Body of the World (Mad Hat Press). They also discuss the Cave Canem Foundation, an …