The Obvious

Never bet against your wife. My cousin Alvin tried to teach me that through his marriage crash course. “Love”–Alvin’s pet name for his wife, Natasha–“is always right,” he once told me. “Even when she’s wrong, she’s right.” Conventional wisdom tells guys being “wrong” is better than sleeping on the couch. You’d think I’d heed that advice […]

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 […]

DRIFT, A Cyber Conversation on Process

EDITOR’S NOTE: My friend, poet and educator Curtis Crisler, recently taught my debut poetry collection, DRIFT, to his students at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. He emailed me his students’ questions, which resulted in this cyber conversation: What did you say to the girl who approached you to apologize for her behavior towards you? All […]

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), […]

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 […]

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 […]

15 Most Famous Cafes in the Literary World (reposted article)

Editor’s note: At the request of Carol Brown, with, this article was reposted here. Article source: Some of the most famous novels and literary moments of all time were written and inspired by cafes in Europe. From the American ex-pat writers in Paris to Henrik Ibsen’s continental travels, cafes were a place to […]