Randall Horton’s *Roxbury*

Cleveland Heights, OH: Kattywompus Press, 2012. 33 pages. $12.00. It was a Sunday evening nearly a decade ago when I first met Randall Horton. We were downstairs in the Teaism Penn Quarter Restaurant at 8th and D streets NW in Washington, DC. That night in 2003, I waited to read on the open mic that […]

Monica Hand’s *me and Nina*

Farmington, MA: Alice James Books, 2012. 78 pages. $15.95. The world continues to remember Nina Simone (formerly Eunice Kathleen Waymon) as a storyteller through songs, whose body of work created a legacy of compassion, empowerment and liberation. At the time of Simone’s death on April 21, 2003, she was already among the 20th century’s most […]

Tidal Basin Review Doing Big Things!

If you’re like me, you probably wondered what brought on the unseasonably warm weather a couple of weeks ago. And, like me, you’ll see the cause of that was the scorching new issue of Tidal Basin Review (TBR). I’m honored to have some work alongside writers who get down on this issue’s theme of beauty. […]

Makalani Bandele’s *Hellfightin*

Detroit, MI: Willow Books, 2012. 65 pages. $14.95. There’s a lot of music in Makalani Bandele’s debut Hellfightin (Willow Books, 2012). The title’s a subtle bow to the Harlem Hellfighters (or the 369th Infantry Regiment) that fought in both world wars I and II. As the first African-American regiment to serve with the American Expeditionary […]

Get Ready For Split This Rock!

I don’t know about the other attendees, but I’m still swooning from Jan Beatty’s reading at Split This Rock 2010. That year marked the second time for the biennial literary festival that Sarah Browning started as a way of providing a “permanent home for progressive poets.” Since it started in 2008, Split This Rock has […]

Urban Renewal: Major Jackson and Audre Lorde

The speakers in both Major Jackson’s 11-part poem “Urban Renewal” (from Leaving Saturn) and Audre Lorde’s Coal are both city dwellers coming to terms with the changing landscape. They fear possibly being displaced and mourn the once familiar structures city officials left “crumbling to gutted relics.”[1] The speakers aren’t alone in their suffering. “A chorus […]