Harriet

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Stories I Like To Tell April 26, 2011: There are a few stories that I like to tell about writing. Here is one: I tell the story of the poets who tell me that they don’t read other poets because they don’t want to be [...] by

Facts and Truth April 19, 2011: Recently I have been contemplating and speaking about the relationship between truth and fact. Most people, I realize, do not make a distinction between these two things. Much of my talking lately [...] by

“Middle Passage”–Robert Hayden April 15, 2011: Robert Hayden wrote “Middle Passage” in the nineteen forties, when, he said, no one was really writing about these subjects. To hear him read this poem is to experience the strange way that poems [...] by

The University as the Poet’s Community April 15, 2011: There is a tantalizing thought that has been eating at me for a while and I still am not sure I have worked it out fully yet. It started to get at me in the middle of my tribute of sorts to the [...] by

Haitian Fragments April 14, 2011: Five months after the earthquake of January 12, 2011, I sat in an elegant art gallery on the upper slopes of Petion Ville to talk to a gathering of Haitian poets. I was moonlighting while reporting [...] by

Vulnerability April 13, 2011: The last two spring semesters, I have had an interesting teaching opportunity. I have been teaching Fourth Year Medical Students at the Medical School of the University of South Carolina Creative [...] by

We Got Your Back April 11, 2011: I am a poet living in the South and teaching at a venerable southern university with as complex and sometimes embarrassing a history as the South itself bears. This place has given me books of poems, [...] by

God-Breathed April 9, 2011: Interviewers like to ask, “What inspires you as a poet?” Generally I don’t like the question because as soon as I start to answer the question, I seem to be inventing a rationale for my work, [...] by

Thinking of Toni Cade Bambara (1939-1995) April 8, 2011: Wanda Coleman’s eloquent post “To Fill the Absence” made me think of ways in which remembering can teach us so much. And Rigoberto’s inimitable combination of cheerleader and reprimanding [...] by

UNMENTIONABLE MATTERS April 7, 2011: People whose concept of themselves is largely dependent on their racial identity and superiority feel threatened by a multiracial person. The insistence that one must align oneself with this or that [...] by