“I pray for peace with the same mouth I hide the razor blade in”: Javon Johnson on his new poetry collection

In this episode, Lissa speaks with Javon Johnson, about his new poetry collection, Ain't Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry, 2020). Javon Johnson, Ph.D. is a poet, performer, professor and recipient of numerous awards. According to poet Rudy Francisco, Dr. Johnson is “is one of the most brilliant writers in the world”. This conversation was recorded …

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Black Minnesota poets in response to the murder of George Floyd

One of the defining events of the past year, in Minnesota and around the world, was the murder of George Floyd and the international protests demanding justice. Though Mr. Floyd's murder was shocking, for many people it fit a pattern of racism and violence inflicted upon Black people and BIPOC communities in this country. In …

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Author Carolyn Holbrook on her new book

"For me, the title of the book is about testifying on behalf of myself, my family, my children and adding to the conversation about the beauty of our people," says Carolyn Holbrook about her newly released collection of essays, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). In this episode, …

‘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 …