Posts tagged Poetry
Episode 91: Michelle Brittan Rosado

Michelle Brittan Rosado is a poet based in Long Beach, CA. In her book Why Can’t It Be Tenderness, Michelle writes about California, Malaysia, and the space between, about divorce, and life transition, and new love. In our conversation we talked about her book, about her creative process and how she thinks about poetic form, and about mixed-race identity. Then in the second section we talked about the history of the pantoum, and our experiences with English-language versions of Asian poetic forms.

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Episode 87: David Bowles

David Bowles is a writer based in south Texas. David’s latest book of poems, They Call Me Güero, is a middle-grade novel-in-verse about a light-skinned Mexican-American boy who is just entering the seventh grade. In the book, David portrays the life of a border kid with all its joys and challenges. In our conversation we talked about that book, as well as about David’s collection of the myths and legends of pre-Colombian Mexico, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky. We discussed the importance of representation, especially for young people of color. Then for the second segment, David and I talked about finding our way to a softer masculinity, and seeking out pop culture that makes us cry.

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Episode 83: Shivanee Ramlochan

Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, and book blogger. I had the opportunity to read Shivanee’s book of poems Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting a few months ago and I found it a powerful experience. In our conversation, Shivanee and I talked about her book, making art out of our traumas, and navigating audience responses to our work. Then in the second segment, we talked about how few opportunities there can be for marginalized writers, and how this often creates an unnecessarily competitive environment.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 74: Franny Choi

Franny Choi’s chapbook Death By Sex Machine uses the framing of artificial intelligence to look at things like voicelessness, dehumanization, Asian fetishism, and more. In our conversation, Franny and I talked about her book, about the ethics of making art that uses other people’s voices, about writing lines that surprise yourself, and about Asian American solidarity. Then in the second segment, Franny talked about a recent trip she took to Korea.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 73: Ada Limón

Ada Limón's latest book of poems, The Carrying, was just released this month by Milkweed Editions, and it's just beautiful. In this episode, Ada and I discuss the book, the power of naming, connection with the Earth, and her collaboration with poet Natalie Diaz. Then in the second segment, we talked about travel and artistic pilgrimages.

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Episode 72: Natalie Eilbert

Natalie Eilbert's newest collection of poems, Indictus, was published in January of this year, and reading it is a profound and intense experience. In our conversation, Natalie and I talked about Indictus, making amends, and what audiences ask of artists who make work about trauma. In the second segment, Natalie chose social media as her topic.

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Episode 69: Leah Umansky

Leah Umansky is a poet, collage artist, and self-described Game of Thrones and Mad Men super fan. I recently read Leah's latest book, the full-length poetry collection The Barbarous Century, and was struck by the exuberant use of language—it brought me a lot of joy. In our conversation, Leah and I talked about her book, her fascination with pop culture, and the power of story. Then in the second segment, we had a very spoilery discussion about the HBO series Westworld.

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Episode 68: Richard Georges

Richard Georges is a writer, editor, and lecturer in the British Virgin Islands. In his new collection of poems, Giant, Richard gives us a portrait of the BVI through landscape, through its history and its present. In our conversation, Richard and I talked about his book, the aftermath of empire in the BVI, and the relationship between poetry and myth. For the second segment, Richard talked about the particular moment that the BVI faces today in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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Episode 66: Hannah Cohen

Hannah Cohen is a poet and editor based in Virginia. I recently picked up a copy of Hannah's new chapbook Bad Anatomy and the way that the poems encompass both vulnerability and strength really struck me, as did the self-deprecating perspective. In our conversation, Hannah and I talked about Bad Anatomy, about emotional truth in poetry, as well as her work as co-editor of the online poetry magazine Cotton Xenomorph. Then in the second segment we discussed the challenges of working as an artist with a day job, especially a day job that isn't in academia.

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Episode 62: Devin Kelly

Devin Kelly is a poet and teacher based in New York, NY. Devin's latest book of poems, In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen was a recent favorite of mine, an elegiac, contemplative book about family, love, and the ways in which life is more about the search than the finding. In our conversation, we talked about Devin's book as well as several of his essays, and Devin also read his poem "Elegy For the Long Drive." Then in the second segment, Devin chose whales as his topic.

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Episode 51: Mari Ness

Mari Ness is a speculative fiction writer and poet based in central Florida. I was recently turned on to Mari's work by a mutual acquaintance of ours, and I really enjoyed digging through her short stories and poetry. In our conversation we talked about her new book Through Immortal Shadows Singing, her experience working in the speculative poetry genre, and what she loves about revising fairy tales. For the second segment, Mari chose Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery as her topic.

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Episode 49: Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is a poet living and working in Bexley, Ohio. In 2016 Maggie's poem "Good Bones" became a viral hit—it's since been translated into nearly a dozen languages and was named by PRI as "the official poem of 2016." That poem is now the title poem of her latest collection, a book that I found deeply moving. I was pleased to talk with Maggie about her new book and her writing process. Then for the second segment we talked about the idea of place, and raising our kids in a different century from the one we grew up in.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 34: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. For today's episode I was pleased to talk to Hanif about his 2016 book The Crown Ain't Worth Much, one of my favorite reads of 2016. The poems in this book are an intensely personal account of his experiences growing up in Columbus, and in our conversation we talked about Hanif's approach to writing from experience, and how art can engender empathy. We also talked about music, a subject he's very familiar with as a music and culture writer for MTV News. For the second segment, we talked about a subject near and dear to Hanif's heart: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Episode 33: José Olivarez

José Olivarez is a poet living and working in Chicago, Illinois, and is also co-host of one of my all-time favorite podcasts, The Poetry Gods. In our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how The Poetry Gods came to be, toxic masculinity in the poetry world, and how discovering poetry allowed José to find his artistic voice. In the second segment, we talked about beginnings and endings.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 24: Shaindel Beers

Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, A Brief History of Time and The Children's War and Other Poems, and her poems have also been published in numerous journals and anthologies. I found both of her books deeply moving, from her depictions of growing up on a farm to poems inspired by child survivors of war, and I was pleased to get to talk to her about her books. For the second segment we talked about artists' collaborations.

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Episode 20: Hannah Stephenson

This week, our very first poetry episode with Ohio poet Hannah Stephenson! I first started reading Hannah's blog, The Storialist, a year or so ago, and although most of the poems she posts there are short, they really invite you to spend some time with them. For this week's show, Hannah and I had a great talk about her 2013 book In the Kettle, the Shriek, and the thought process behind her poems.

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