Shameless Plug

Drift (Willow Books, 2012) is now available. Order it from Small Press Distribution or get it directly from me: Praise for Drift: “Tender and tough, the poems in Alan King’s wonderful debut book of poems, Drift, reveal the cities of memory, love and friendship with the precise and caring eye of a poet deeply invested […]

The Black Poets United And They All Got Down

The panel of poets at a Baltimore City Library quietly considered an audience member’s question: “When did you know you were a poet?” Evie Shockley, a presenter, smiled as the response brewed in her mind. She’d been asking herself the same thing until she took a poetry workshop led by Lucille Clifton. If you wrote […]

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 […]

Nancy Schwalb: A Community Champion

Full Disclosure: I’m the senior program director at the DC Creative Writing Workshop. I covered the award ceremony where Bank of America honored our executive director, and I wanted to share it here. Congrats again Nancy! With two young people from her program, Nancy Schwalb approached the podium. “As you can see, I brought my […]

Help This DC-based Nonprofit By Giving To The Max

If you’ve read my “About” page, then you know I’m the senior program director for the DC Creative Writing Workshop, a wonderful nonprofit based in DC’s Congress Heights community. On Nov. 9, we will be participating in Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington, a massive one-day regional online fundraiser to support local programs. Our programs, […]

The Quiet Photographer and The Bullhorn: T.S. Eliot and Amiri Baraka

A well-known poet once defined the poets’ role as that of “forensic scientists.” But, instead of a crime scene, poets comb the world around them, looking for evidence that the poem occurred. In that context, the speakers in T.S. Eliot’s Collected Poems: 1909-1962 and Amiri Baraka’s Transbluesency: Selected Poems 1961-1995 aren’t just concerned residents and […]