VIDEO: “Art can be liberating, art is redemptive, and art is healing,” Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam on their YA novel-in-verse Punching the Air

"Hope is the thing that drives us forward," says Dr. Yusuf Salaam of naming his novel's main character Amal, which means hope. "Because without hope we wouldn't see a positive future, we wouldn't imagine the opportunity to change the criminal justice system from the criminal system of injustice to the criminal justice system." Dr. Salaam …

Poet, Essayist Justin Phillip Reed on The Malevolent Volume

"Poetry is present in pretty much every culture," says Reed. "It is present across class boundaries." But, he notes, depending on those boundaries it looks and acts differently. "I think there is a way that certain kinds of poetry are rewarded as literature and therefore are given a kind of visibility that ends up reifying …

Remembering Toni Morrison at the 2019 Twin Cities Book Festival

In October, we partnered with Rain Taxi Review of Books to record a special live episode of Black Market Reads at the 2019 Twin Cities Book Festival. In this episode, Lissa speaks with authors about the life and work of the author Toni Morrison who passed away earlier this year. http://givensbmr.libsyn.com/twin-cities-book-festival-2019 Toni Morrison is a …