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 […]

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’ […]

2012 Awards Mark Best Year Ever for DC-based Nonprofit

Full disclosure: I’m the senior program director for the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop. We’re always bragging about our students. They’re always doing amazing things. Here’s another post about what they’ve accomplished. TyJuan Hogan threw off the gloves when he stepped to the mic last Saturday. Earlier, while the other finalists read their poems aloud, the […]

Blackbird Poetry Festival

This time of year, Poetry gets a lot of attention from the mainstream public. News organizations around the country that would otherwise snub her appearance play paparazzi, recording her whereabouts and goings-on. Thousands of businesses and non-profits celebrate her vital place in American culture through readings and festivals, through book displays and workshops. And for […]

National Poetry Month!

What’s exciting about National Poetry Month is this series NPR is doing called Muses and Metaphors. Last month, NPR’s Producer Argin Hutchins and Senior Producer Davar Ardalan reached out to the DC Creative Writing Workshop to participate in this month’s Muses and Metaphors. I tweeted lines from poems written by two of the Workshop’s writing […]

Monica Hand’s *me and Nina*

Farmington, MA: Alice James Books, 2012. 78 pages. $15.95. The world continues to remember Nina Simone (formerly Eunice Kathleen Waymon) as a storyteller through songs, whose body of work created a legacy of compassion, empowerment and liberation. At the time of Simone’s death on April 21, 2003, she was already among the 20th century’s most […]

Tidal Basin Review Doing Big Things!

If you’re like me, you probably wondered what brought on the unseasonably warm weather a couple of weeks ago. And, like me, you’ll see the cause of that was the scorching new issue of Tidal Basin Review (TBR). I’m honored to have some work alongside writers who get down on this issue’s theme of beauty. […]

Makalani Bandele’s *Hellfightin*

Detroit, MI: Willow Books, 2012. 65 pages. $14.95. There’s a lot of music in Makalani Bandele’s debut Hellfightin (Willow Books, 2012). The title’s a subtle bow to the Harlem Hellfighters (or the 369th Infantry Regiment) that fought in both world wars I and II. As the first African-American regiment to serve with the American Expeditionary […]

Voices from the LMC

As part of the art faculty at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, I created the school’s first-ever digital poetry anthology that represents the students in the Literary Media and Communications Department. Here’s an excerpt from my introduction: The online anthology derived its name from the famed print anthology Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets […]