‘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 …

‘I found God in myself and I loved her. I loved her fiercely’ – Remembering the great Ntozake Shange; with Sarah Bellamy, Artistic Director of Penumbra Theatre

When asked by the author Alexs Pate in a 2009 interview whether she was conscious of a through-line in her body of work, Ntozake Shange said no. But she went on to say that her goal in all her work was to make African-American women the centers of the universe. In this episode, we look …

‘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 …

Race and Policing with Duchess Harris, JD, PhD

*Originally released August 2017 Author and Historian Duchess Harris returns to Black Market Reads, this time to speak with host Lissa Jones about her newest book Race and Policing, as well as a newly announced multi-book Duchess Harris Collection from Abdo Publishing. Duchess and Lissa discuss the complex history of race, policing, and force in america. …