The Obvious

Never bet against your wife. My cousin Alvin tried to teach me that through his marriage crash course. “Love”–Alvin’s pet name for his wife, Natasha–“is always right,” he once told me. “Even when she’s wrong, she’s right.” Conventional wisdom tells guys being “wrong” is better than sleeping on the couch. You’d think I’d heed that advice […]

Willow Books, The Motown Records of Book Publishing

Started in 2007, Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press, is still in its childhood. Yet the six-year-old Detroit-based press is rapidly becoming the Motown Records of book publishing. As America’s top Black-owned and operated record company and business, Motown Records signified a new day. The cultural icon’s chart-topping singles and often-imitated sound embodied the […]

A True Story About Hollywood

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following true story is part of the crazy world series I’m doing for the World We Don’t Know (WWDK) blog, the brainchild of Kelli Anderson, my colleague in the Literary Media and Communications department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and our freshmen students. Kelli asked me to contribute. So I […]

Rejoicing in the Church of Poetry

I’m coming off a high after graduation last month. I finished the Stonecoast M.F.A. Low-Residency Program at the University of Southern Maine, a two-year journey I started for time to write and complete another manuscript to shop around. It allowed me to expand my network, see Maine (a place I otherwise would not have visited), […]

I’ve been BOMBed!

Bomb Magazine posted the full interview I conducted with National Book Award Finalist Tim Seibles, who I also profiled in an earlier post.  Here’s an excerpt from the intro: Tim Seibles is among the rare literary talents whose work is alive on and off the page. In fact, he’s out of this world. If Tim […]

Tim Seibles: A Product of Sweat and Patience

Understanding how Tim Seibles got the National Book Foundation’s attention requires some knowledge of neuroscience and of his persistence to be heard. At any moment, the human mind rapidly shifts between thoughts. It’s that movement Seibles mimicks when arranging the sections of his books. “If we’re really listening, we’ll go from rage to tenderness pretty […]

Curtis Crisler: Migration of a Latchkey Boy

Curtis Crisler’s unnamed speaker is a griot of sorts. His distant kin, fleeing from Jim Crow and southern domestic terrorism, joins the 5 million African Americans who decide to roll out. But they aren’t the first to do so. Others left before them during the first Great Migration (1910 to 1930), which swept two-thirds of 1.6 million […]

Clint Eastwood’s “Invisible Obama”

Last night, I watched Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair that stood in as President Obama. He asked a piece of furniture for explanations about his “failed” policies, then answered his own questions. This passed for humor with the convention audience as they laughed ‘til their faces turned red. The entire time I couldn’t […]

I’m on the show THE POET AND THE POEM

According to the Library of Congress’s website: The Poet and the Poem is an ongoing series of live poetry interviews at the Library of Congress with distinguished artists. Webcasts are now available of recent events, including the appearances of two U.S. Poets Laureate and several Witter Bynner fellows. Distinguishing features of the show are the poets’ […]