Kevin Simmonds’s *Mad for Meat*

A guy walks into a bar. Or is it a Middle Eastern novelty store? A coffee shop? Well, he’s somewhere in northern Japan, nursing a drink and tapping his fingers as “Lady/ Day simmers overhead”. The guy’s an expatriate, disillusioned by his country’s prejudice against people of color and the queer community—both of which marked him […]

Making a Difference in Congress Heights

Full disclosure: I’m the senior program director for the DC Creative Writing Workshop. The article below features the story of one of our high school students who takes part in the writing club. I thought his story was worth sharing here. Thinking of where he would’ve ended up without the DC Creative Writing Workshop’s after-school […]

Derrick Weston Brown’s “Wisdom Teeth”

Snagglepuss is bitter. He airs his frustrations with the Pink Panther on E! True Hollywood Story, after their short-lived love affair: “When the big money came calling Ol’ Pinky packed his bags and gave me some song and dance about how I’d never have to work again […]” (from “Snagglepuss Spills his Guts on E! […]

The Haunting: Dorianne Laux and Cornelius Eady

After reading Dorianne Laux’s Smoke and Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination, some things have been affirmed for me: that the dead do haunt the living, and in various forms. In these two collections, what haunts is the ghost of “a girl in a cotton slip” who sits “beneath the staircase/ built from hair and bone[1]”; it’s […]

The Journey for the Unseen Beauty

Editor’s note: The essay below is in response to the What Book Changed Your Life Contest by Marita Golden. Winners receive an autographed copy of Marita Golden’s newest book THE WORD: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing. Submission deadline: February 5, 2011. Click here for more contest info. When Shake […]

Putting It On The Line

Editor’s note: Joseph Ross, a poet and guestblogger at Tidal Basin Review, asked me to write an essay on where I find hope. The essay below, which will also be posted on the Basin Blog, is an attempt at illustrating that source. I’m challenged whenever I walk into the classroom. Especially every Tuesday that Truth […]

Truth Thomas’s “Bottle of Life”

It’s “…the language of collard greens and black-eyed peas seasoned with fatback and Big Mama’s sweet tea” was how one writer put it in a blurb. Another writer called its contents “…intoxicatingly sweet, sharp, with a dash of bitter, good for the soul’s health.” A third one noted the poet finds “heaven in his Mama’s […]