—Alain-Jules Hirwa on You Will Never Be Normal
“A day will come, when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of the necessaries of life.” — Mark Twain Bubbling to the surface on New Year’s Eve 2019 was the nostalgic promise of a second wave of the Roaring Twenties, a decade defined by […]
Nick and I met in December of 2014 at a holiday party in Lawrence, Kansas. I had just graduated from university and my immediate mission was finding a source of income while keeping my hopes alive of becoming a writer. In the beginning of our collaboration and friendship, we both found common ground in that […]
What’s the difference, if there are any, between a war and a pandemic? Both are fatal, both allow fear to fester in our bodies, and both prevent us from carrying on with our lives until we somehow get used to it. I’ve experienced both, no break in between to heal the wounds of the war, now with constant fear of illness residing in my body.
After reading this book, reader poets can think: in what more ways can an erasure exist? And further to the focus of this anthology, what more ways can erasure be used to dismantle oppression?
“Publishing somewhat later taught me something, or the delay somehow molded me, and little did I realize such a long pause would shape what I would do going forward. It’s not so premeditated, now, at close to sixty as a writer: I just see I don’t get to my truths quickly. That seems to be the point: telling the truth in the art. That’s what I am after, in poems or prose.”
-from Tom Grimes’ interview with poet Spencer Reece
Jannise’s poems traverse a thrilling landscape that is at times funny, at times shocking, and at times heartrending. The collection delivers surprise after surprise with eye-opening mastery of voice, wit, and language.
Justin Jannise’s first book of poetry, How to Be Better by Being Worse, was selected by Richard Blanco as winner of the 2019 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. While reading it, I was delighted by the way the poems braved emotional, intellectual, and social dilemmas with deftness, wit, and vulnerability. I had questions for Justin […]