Casandra López + A Rose is a Rose is a Roses

March 18, 2019

Hello lovely people. This week we sat and drank with Casandra López. She schooled us on obsessions, building a poetry community, grief, and the difference between writing poetry and writing fiction. Y'all don't want to miss this. Trust. 

CASANDRA LÓPEZ is a Chicana and California Indian (Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño) writer who’s received support from CantoMundo, Bread Loaf and Jackstraw. She’s been selected for residencies with the School of Advanced Research and Hedgebrook. Her chapbook, Where Bullet Breaks was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her poetry collection, Brother Bullet is forthcoming from University of Arizona. She’s a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World  and teaches at Northwest Indian College. You can follow her on Twitter @casandramlopez

The drink, "A Rose is a Rose is a Rose," alludes to "Sacred Emily," by modernist poet, Gertrude Stein. Ingredients: Sparkling rosé, pomplemousse rose liqueur, and fresh grapefruit juice combine sweet, pink forces in this strong, celebratory cocktail (which—much like a Gertrude Stein sentence—has a way of leaving those who partake in it delightfully bewildered).

References: As Us JournalSimon J. OrtizDana LevinVONACantoMundoMacondo Writers WorkshopAWPTrauma & Recovery by Judith Herman

Rick Barot Reads Vievee Francis’ “Given to Rust”

March 11, 2019

Welcome back, lovelies! Last week, Rick Barot blew our minds with his thoughts on how poetry connects to everything from Spanish paintings to runway models. This week, Rick reads us the poem "Given to Rust" by Vievee Francis, and we delight in how this poem invites us to think about lineation, survival, authorial intent v creation, and Emily Dickinson. 

RICK BAROT was born in the Philippines, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wesleyan University and The Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002); Want (2008); and Chord (2015), which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and received the 2016 UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. Barot is the poetry editor of New England Review. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University. He is also the director of The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at PLU. His fourth book of poems, The Galleons, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2020.

VIEVEE FRANCIS is the author of Forest Primeval (TriQuarterly Books, 2015), winner of the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award; Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize; and Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006). The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Kresge Foundation, Francis currently serves as an editor for Callaloo and teaches English and creative writing at Dartmouth College.

REFERENCES: "Give to Rust" by Vievee Francis (Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day), enjambment, "Crumbling is not an instance act, or 1010" by Emily Dickinson

Rick Barot + Those Winter Gin and Tonics

March 4, 2019

What's good friends. This week we get down with getting back into the swing of "the poetry world." We also sat down with Rick Barot and got taken all the way to school. He dropped so much knowledge on art and the body and the state of contemporary American poetry. Hurry up and listen already!

RICK BAROT was born in the Philippines, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wesleyan University and The Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002); Want (2008); and Chord (2015), which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and received the 2016 UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. Barot is the poetry editor of New England Review.  He lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University.  He is also the director of The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at PLU. His fourth book of poems, The Galleons, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2020.

THOSE WINTER GIN AND TONICS:  What did we know, what did we know of a gin and tonic’s potential to be a winter cocktail? Nothing! (Until we invented this version). The addition of Amaro Averna and fresh blood orange give the refreshing G&T you know and love some deeper bitter notes and a blink more sweetness. The title of the drink alludes to the famous, heartbreaking sonnet “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden.

Ingredients: Gin (we used Seattle-based Big Gin), Tonic Water, Amaro Averna, Blood Orange

Quenton Baker reads Gwendolyn Brooks’ “Riders to a Blood-Red Wrath”

February 25, 2019

O dearest listeners, this week’s episode is a banger. The last time you heard us, we chopped it up with our homie, the immaculate Quenton Baker, about erasure, rigor, rap, and more. This week, Quenton brought in an underapprecated Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “Riders to a Blood-Red Wrath”, and, well, we all just marvel at it for a while.

QUENTON BAKER is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. His current focus is anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Poetry Northwest, Pinwheel, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2017 Jack Straw Fellow and a former Made at Hugo House fellow, as well as the recipient of the 2016 James W. Ray Venture Project Award and the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016).

GWENDOLYN BROOKS is one of the most highly regarded, influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first Black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks’s works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period. Her body of work gave her, according to critic George E. Kent, “a unique position in American letters. Not only has she combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques, but she has also managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young Black militant writers of the 1960s.” (read the rest here)

Quenton Baker + New Formalist Old Fashioned

February 18, 2019

Good day, love. This week we wrestle with long response times from journals *cough* Tin House *cough cough*, and sit down with one of our favs Quenton Baker over New Formalist Old Fashioneds.

QUENTON BAKER is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. His current focus is anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Poetry Northwest, Pinwheel, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2017 Jack Straw Fellow and a former Made at Hugo House fellow, as well as the recipient of the 2016 James W. Ray Venture Project Award and the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016).

NEW FORMALIST OLD FASHIONED: Like the poets in the late 20th and early 21st century who tried to put a modern spin on traditional metrical forms and rhyme schemes, we’ve revamped Don Draper’s favorite cocktail with rye whiskey, cardamom bitters, and a dash of orange blossom water. The NFOF is perfect for those looking for a spicier, more botanical take on this classic sip. Stir, don’t shake, and serve over ice in a short, stemless glass. Pairs well with floral hoodies, QFC muhammara dip, and our episode with Quenton Baker.

INGREDIENTS: 2 oz rye whiskey (we used Templeton); 4 drops cardamom bitters; a dash of orange blossom water; a smidge of simple syrup; orange peel garnish

Nabila Lovelace reads Aracelis Girmay’s “On Kindness”

February 12, 2019

We're here! Last week, we were chatting it up with Nabila Lovelace about the South, the Conversation Literary Festival, and, of course, violence and intimacy. This week, Nabila brought in "On Kindness" by Aracelis Girmay. Hear her read it and be healed.

 

NABILA LOVELACE is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. In her debut collection, Sons of Achilles, Nabila attempts to examine the liminal space between violence and intimacy. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Narrative NortheastWashington Square ReviewDay One, ESPNW, & Vinyl. She is co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival.  

 

ARACELIS GIRMAY is the author of three collections of poetry: the black maria (BOA Editions, 2016); Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, 2011), winner of the 2011 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award and the GLCA New Writers Award, and a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and Teeth (Curbstone Press, 2007). The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Civitella Ranieri, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Girmay is the winner of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry. She teaches in Hampshire College’s School for Interdisciplinary Arts and Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in poetry.

 

 

Nabila Lovelace + Cold Clove Couplets

February 4, 2019

Good to see you hear us again, boo. This week we quibble about cover letters and interview the wise and generous Nabila Lovelace as we sip on Cold Clove Couplets.

NABILA LOVELACE is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. In her debut collection, Sons of Achilles, Nabila attempts to examine the liminal space between violence and intimacy. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Narrative Northeast, Washington Square Review, Day One, ESPNW, & Vinyl. She is co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival.  

COLD CLOVE COUPLET is a cold take on a hot toddy. Like a heroic couplet, this cocktail marches on sure feet, giving the bite of ginger, the brightness of bubbles, and the warmth of bourbon and spice. Think Moscow Mule meets the Deep South over the holidays. Perfect for when you feel the sniffles coming on, but you still want to have a cute boozy brunch with your people. Pairs splendidly with apple pastries, rambunctious readings of the Iliad, and our episode with Nabila.

INGREDIENTS: Rachel’s ginger beer; 2 oz bourbon; squeeze of fresh lemon; ice; two whole cloves

Danez Smith reads Franny Choi’s “Introduction to Quantum Theory”

January 28, 2019

Oh there you are, lovely. Last week, we chopped it up with worldwide sensation Danez Smith on reading for the National Book Awards, joy, and the violence necessary to achieve utopia. For this week's episode, they brought in Franny Choi's "Introduction to Quantum Theory" for us to discuss, and spoiler alert: it's a banger.

DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, Homie, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020.

FRANNY CHOI is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has been a finalist for multiple national poetry slams, and her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Senior News Editor for Hyphen, co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books

Danez Smith + The Hot Daddy

January 21, 2019

You're back, dear listener, and just in time to hear us fangirl over fangirling, We also interview American treasure Danez Smith while sipping Hot Daddies. 

DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, Homie, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020. 

THE HOT DADDY

Fun fact! Langston Hughes’s favorite cocktail was one he invented called the ‘Hard Daddy.’ As described in a letter to a friend, the ‘Hard Daddy’ = whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice, and ice. For our recording sesh with Danez Smith, we decided to make a hot version of this intriguingly named cocktail, subbing hot water for the ice and serving it in a cozy mug. Go generous with the lemon and light on the syrup and your taste buds will be happy. Pairs perfectly with cold winter Mondays, Ezell’s chicken, and this here episode.   

INGREDIENTS: 2 oz Irish whiskey; fresh lemon; maple syrup; hot water 

REFERENCES: 2018 National Book Award Poetry FinalistsThe Fat Sonnets by Samantha ZighelboimThe Tradition by Jericho BrownYouth Speaks Brave New Voices"summer, somewhere""Litany with Blood All Over" and "Not an Elegy" by Danez Smith; Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi; Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha reads Mahmoud Darwish’s “To Our Land”

January 14, 2019

Welcome back, dearest. In last week’s episode, we spoke to Lena Khalaf Tuffaha about activism, home, language, and so much more. In this episode, Lena brought to The Poet Salon Mahmoud Darwish’s “To Our Land”. She was even kind enough to read it to us in the original Arabic.

LENA KHALAF TUFFAHA is an American poet, writer, and translator of Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian heritage. She is the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize for Arab in Newsland, and the author of Water & Salt, a book of poems from Red Hen Press published in April 2017, which won the Washington State Book Award. You can follow her on Twitter @LKTuffaha.

Palestinian MAHMOUD DARWISH was born in al-Birwa in Galilee, a village that was occupied and later razed by the Israeli army. Because they had missed the official Israeli census, Darwish and his family were considered “internal refugees” or “present-absent aliens.” Darwish lived for many years in exile in Beirut and Paris. He is the author of over 30 books of poetry and eight books of prose, and earned the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize from the Lannan Foundation, the Lenin Peace Prize, and the Knight of Arts and Belles Lettres Medal from France (excerpted from the Poetry Foundation).

FADY JOUDAH has published four collections of poems, The Earth in the AtticAlightTextu, a book-long sequence of short poems whose meter is based on cellphone character count; and, most recently, Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. He has translated several collections of poetry from the Arabic. He was a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007 and has received a PEN award, a Banipal/Times Literary Supplement prize from the UK, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Houston, with his wife and kids, where he practices internal medicine.

REFERENCES