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. […]

The Residency and Passionate Bedfellows

Cait Johnson raised some eyebrows and made a roomful of writers blush when she talked about orgasms. According to Cait, a Stonecoast faculty, the best orgasms happen when two people are vulnerable and intimate with each other. To hear her tell it, that same intensity’s achieved when writers engage in other genres. Cait’s wise words […]

Get Ready For Split This Rock!

I don’t know about the other attendees, but I’m still swooning from Jan Beatty’s reading at Split This Rock 2010. That year marked the second time for the biennial literary festival that Sarah Browning started as a way of providing a “permanent home for progressive poets.” Since it started in 2008, Split This Rock has […]

Shameless Plug

Drift (Willow Books, 2012) is now available. Order it from Small Press Distribution or get it directly from me: Praise for Drift: “Tender and tough, the poems in Alan King’s wonderful debut book of poems, Drift, reveal the cities of memory, love and friendship with the precise and caring eye of a poet deeply invested […]

The Black Poets United And They All Got Down

The panel of poets at a Baltimore City Library quietly considered an audience member’s question: “When did you know you were a poet?” Evie Shockley, a presenter, smiled as the response brewed in her mind. She’d been asking herself the same thing until she took a poetry workshop led by Lucille Clifton. If you wrote […]

Urban Renewal: Major Jackson and Audre Lorde

The speakers in both Major Jackson’s 11-part poem “Urban Renewal” (from Leaving Saturn) and Audre Lorde’s Coal are both city dwellers coming to terms with the changing landscape. They fear possibly being displaced and mourn the once familiar structures city officials left “crumbling to gutted relics.”[1] The speakers aren’t alone in their suffering. “A chorus […]