A Poem Video for Poetry Publishers – #NationalPoetryMonth

I wanted to do something different for #NationalPoetryMonth. Instead of cranking out a poem a day for NaPoWriMo (short for National Poetry Writing Month), I wanted to make a video announcing my new manuscript. While this video is targeted at publishers, if you’re not one but enjoyed the video, please share it through your networks. […]

A DC Creative Writing Workshop Cypher

A few years ago, I started as a writer-in-residence with the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop, and worked my way up to senior program director. I owe this nonprofit and its Executive Director Nancy Schwalb so much. I shot these clips, not sure what I would do with them. They sat on my phone for two […]

Hustle vs. Heartache (UPDATE)

Three years ago, I did a story on Jason Tyler and his film crew’s project, Hustle vs. Heartache  — a story about up-and-coming rapper, Hustle, fresh out of prison with a dream of making it big as a hip hop artist, forging a relationship with his young son and finishing old business with his soul-singer […]

Arts Summit Revives SW Community

There are no pews in this darkened sanctuary. Atop the booming pulpit, a DJ spins a sampled sermon for the head-nodding congregation, colored in sweeping orange and yellow spotlights, the few among them kicking MF Doom lyrics the way a disciplined believer spits scripture. The revival on the second floor is fitting for hiphop’s holy […]

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 […]

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), […]

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 […]