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, …

From Generosity to Justice: Ford Foundation President Darren Walker on his new book and reimagining philanthropy for social justice

“As you read these pages, please consider these words to be an open invitation—an extended hand and an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” writes Ford Foundation President Darren Walker in his new book, From Generosity to Justice: A New Gospel of Wealth. According to Walker, embracing discomfort is a …

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 …

Author J. Drew Lanham on his memoir The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, featuring guest host Michael Kleber-Diggs

In this episode we are pleased to share an interview featuring J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions, 2016), in conversation with guest host Michael Kleber-Diggs. The interview was recorded at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2017. J. Drew Lanham is …

Hope in the Struggle: Josie R. Johnson, Carolyn Holbrook, and Arleta Little

On this episode, Lissa sits down with civil rights icon Josie R. Johnson and her co-authors Carolyn Holbrook and Arleta Little to discuss Johnson's memoir Hope in the Struggle: A Memoir (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). https://oembed.libsyn.com/embed?item_id=10919197 Dr. Josie R. Johnson has been an educator, activist, and public servant for more than seven decades. Along …

‘We are here in the right now and we have to be truthful and courageous’ – Author and professor Emily Bernard on finding her voice and speaking the truth

In 'Scar Tissue,' the first essay in Emily Bernard's debut collection, Black is the Body, she writes the story of a violent attack that left her critically injured as a graduate student, but which also led her consider her own voice and how she would use it to speak the truth of her own history …

DeRay Mckesson on ‘trying to tell a story about a world that we haven’t seen but that we know is possible’

  On this episode, Lissa sits down with DeRay Mckesson – civil rights activist, community organizer, and now author of the book On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. In 2014 he left his job with the Minneapolis Public Schools to join and document the protests in Ferguson Missouri, and has since …

“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 …

Minnesota Book Award Finalist A. Rafael Johnson on trauma, memory, and magical realism

*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 …

Live Episode: Sonya Renee Taylor in Minneapolis

*Originally released March 2018 In this episode, recorded at a live event at Jefferson Community School in Minneapolis, MN, Lissa Jones hosts a fascinating conversation with Sonya Renee Taylor the activist and author at the center of the global movement The Body Is Not an Apology, which advocates radical self-love as tool for political resistance …