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 …

‘It took me 20 years to write this book…because it took that long to live’ – Author Desiree Cooper on her award-winning flash-fiction collection

*Originally released March 2018 Desiree Cooper, author of the award-winning short fiction collection Know the Mother (Wayne State University Press, 2016) talks with host Lissa Jones about the complexities of motherhood and the ways that motherhood interacts, and at times conflicts, with the many other roles that women take on. We reached Desiree Cooper by phone at …

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 …

Musician, educator, and historian Dr. Damani Phillips on Black culture and jazz education

* Originally released January 2018 Host Lissa Jones sits down with Dr. Damani Phillips. Dr. Phillips is an active performer, educator and composer. He currently serves as associate professor of jazz Studies and African-American studies at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied jazz saxophone, directs jazz combos and teaches courses in African-American music, …

Joy Dolo, founding member of Blackout Comedy

*Originally released January 2018 In this episode, Lissa Jones speaks with Twin Cites based actress, comedian, and educator Joy Dolo of Blackout Improv. Dolo is a founding member of Blackout, Minnesota’s first and only all-Black improv ensemble whose performances use sketch comedy, improv, and stand-up to tackle current events, race, and social justice issues. Listen: …