I know it’s been a minute since I had my last podcast. Things have been hectic with my writing schedule, and my constantly having to conjure up some creative mojo. I had two teeny-weeny weeks of vacation, and now it’s back to teaching summer school. But I can’t complain. I get paid pretty good money for teaching, as opposed to working for minimum wage. I always try to count my blessings whenever I’m feeling petulant about having to actually, like, work.
So, it’s time for a new podcast, and do I ever have something fabulous for you! (You know how I roll.)
Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9 at 7:30pm EASTERN I will be talking with FOUR fabulous Black men poets on Talkshoe.com: Reginald Dwayne Betts, Randall Horton, Marcus Jackson, and John Murillo! Here’s the link to the podcast.
Together, these brothers make up the reading collective, “Symphony: The House that Etheridge Built.” Symphony is both a literary panel discussing the life and poetry of the late, great poet Etheridge Knight, and a showcase for the poetic talents of these four brothers.
Here’s what they have to say about founding their collective:
“Etheridge Knight often said it is ‘a valid ambition to want the words you strung together to live on the lips of ordinary people.’ Today, four emerging African-American poets echo that sentiment with each line they write. Reginald Dwayne Betts, Randall Horton, Marcus Jackson and John Murillo have come together to form the Symphony. These four poets combine their voices into four movements that form one song: a multitudinous story of love, prison, fatherhood and the denizens of cities often absent from American verse. The House that Etheridge Built is part lecture, and part poetic suite. It is an introduction to the work of Etheridge Knight and an introduction to the voices of his literary descendants, all who aim to have their words live on the lips of ordinary people. The Symphony is dedicated to making themselves available to the community at large through community workshops that focus on both the youth and adults in terms of writing, reading, and literacy. In our opinion, community can be defined as: secondary schooling, community centers, after-school programs, prisons, detention centers, senior citizen homes, and academia. “
You know you don’t want to miss this podcast! Below are the individual bios of the men of Symphony.
Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James, 2010) the winner of the 2009 Beatrice Hawley Award in Poetry and the memoir, A Question of Freedom (The Penguin Group, 2009), which won the NAACP Image Award for Debut Literature. A fellow of Cave Canem Workshop Retreat for African American Poets, he holds the BA in English from University of Maryland and he is an MFA candidate of Warren Wilson College. He is Program Director of the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop.
Randall Horton is the author of The Definition of Place (Main Street Rag, 2006) and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street (Main Street Rag, 2009). He is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Summer Scholarship to Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown and a fellowship at Cave Canem. He holds the MFA in Creative Writing from Chicago State University and the Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from SUNY-Albany. He is Assistant Professor of English at University of New Haven.
Marcus Jackson is the author of Neighborhood Register, forthcoming from Cavankerry Books next year. He is the recipient of fellowships in poetry from New York University and Cave Canem, and he holds the BA in English (Magna Cum Laude) from University of Toledo and the MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. He teaches at Rutgers University.
John Murillo is the author of Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher Books, 2010). He is the recipient of the Elma P. Stuckey Visiting Emerging Poet-in-Residence, Columbia College, the Creative Writing Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center and a fellowship from Cave Canem. Currently, he is finishing up his residency as the 2009-2010 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow, Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Department of English, University of Wisconsin.
Join me tomorrow at 7:30PM EASTERN on Talkshoe.com for my conversation with these fabulous brothers! Here’s the link to the podcast—AGAIN– and remember, if you miss it, you can download it for free on Itunes or simply go to the dark blue button on the right, to listen to a past episode.