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 …

Author Kalisha Buckhanon on her new novel Speaking of Summer

In the Season 5 premier, Lissa sits down with author Kalisha Buckhanon to discuss her new novel Speaking of Summer (COUNTERPOINT, 2019). This episode was recorded live at an event hosted by Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis. Kalisha Buckhanon is the author of the novels Solemn, Conception, and Upstate, which was selected as an inaugural National Book Foundation …

‘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 …

‘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 …

‘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 …

Bonus Episode: Live from Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival 2018

On October 13th authors, publishers, book sellers, and book lovers came together at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds for the annual Twin Cities Book Festival, organized by the Rain Taxi Review of Books. This meeting of the literary minds gave the Black Market Reads team the opportunity to ask some pressing questions of these creators …

“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 …

‘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 …