Gwendolyn Brooks, Vulnerability, and JNCOs: A Conversation with Brian Broome

BY Aaron Hand

You have racism telling you you’re one thing, telling you you’re worth less than white people. You also, sometimes, have this homophobic masculinity in the Black culture that tells you that you should be this thing. The attempt for “Tabula Rasa” is to say that you don’t have to be any of that. This is your life; you can do and say and be exactly who you are. You don’t have to conform to these standards.


A Conversation with Spencer Reece

BY Tom Grimes

“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


Mateo Askaripour Speaks On Breaking into the Literary World with Black Buck

BY Chris Kubik

When I was thrown into the world of literature, and I started meeting people, it was strange, right, because a lot of people are grinding and hustling day to day, but I was hustling and grinding to just get on and not to make rent. But then came the thought of like, I’m doing a disservice if I’m not talking about the importance of making bread as an artist, especially as an artist of color. This is the fucking game—they don’t want us to talk about how much we’re getting paid for advances.