At 30, I’m OK Being Unhip

While teaching in an after-school program one evening, Epiphany walked up and punched me in the face. It happened in the middle of a writing exercise I gave my students. The enthusiasm of some had them writing right away, while others sighed and laid their heads on the desks. One of them rolled her eyes […]

How To Handle Aggressive Pedestrians

And you thought mixed martial arts, football and boxing were tough contact sports? Take a stroll on any city sidewalk, and you’re bound to get shoved, kicked and shouldered. These sidewalk hogs plow through the middle of walkways. Sometimes they travel in a group of two or three and pretend not to notice you, unwilling […]

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 […]

Stephen Dobyns: The Great (Allusion)ist

Editor’s note: I’m currently a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) candidate in the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. Below is a look at one of my favorite poets, Stephen Dobyns, and his use of voice in his collections Black Dog, Red Dog and Cemetery Nights. If Black Dog, Red Dog and Cemetery […]

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 […]