Episode 32: Len Lawson (Of Asylums, Poetic Histories, and Rest)

Len Lawson, author of Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane (Main Street Rag, 2023)

Listen:  On Apple, Spotify, Google and elsewhere

Read: “Psychology for Black Folk” at Jasper Project

Purchase: Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane (Main Street Rag, 2023)

Len Lawson is author of Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane (Main Street Rag, 2023), Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019), and the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He is also co-editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair Press, 2021) and Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017). South Carolina Humanities awarded him a 2022 Governor’s Award for Fresh Voices in the Humanities.  He has received fellowships from Tin House, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Callaloo Barbados, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts among others. His poetry appears in African American Review, Callaloo, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Poetry Northwest, and has been translated internationally. Len earned a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A South Carolina native, he is currently Assistant Professor of English at Newberry College. 

More reading recommended from this episode:

Joshua Bennett’s Being Property Once Myself

Nikky Finney’s Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry: Poems and Artifacts

Honorée Fannon Jeffers The Age of Phillis

Episode 31: Caelan Ernest (Of Cyborgs and Parties, Publicity, and Transcending Binaries)

Caelan Ernest, author of night mode (Everybody Press, 2023) and the forthcoming ICONOCLAST (Everybody Press, 2024).

Listen: On Google, Spotify, Apple, or Streaming

Read: “put ur phone down for a sec” from night mode in Blush Lit

Purchase: night mode (Everybody Press, 2023)

Caelan Ernest is a poet and a performer. They are the author of two forthcoming collections: night mode and ICONOCLAST, being published in 2023 and 2024 respectively by Everybody Press. They received their MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute. They are Publicist at Graywolf Press. They live in Brooklyn with their cat named Salad.

More reading and viewing recommendations from this episode:

Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto


r. erica doyl’s Proxy

Wings of Desire

Carl Phillips’ My Trade is Mystery

Episode 30: Stephanie Burt (Of Mermaids, Punctuation, and Queer Community Formations)

Stephanie Burt, author of We Are Mermaids (Graywolf Press, 2022).

Listen: On Apple, Spotify, Google and elsewhere

Read: “Whale Watch” at Turbine

Purchase: We Are Mermaids (Graywolf Press, 2022)

Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several books of poems and literary criticism, most recently WE ARE MERMAIDS (Graywolf, 2022), AFTER CALLIMACHUS: Poems and Translations (Princeton UP, 2020) and DON’T READ POETRY: A Book About How to Read Poems (Basic, 2019). In addition to poetry things, she writes about trans stuff and pop music and comic book superheroes for Comicsxf.com, the New Yorker and other fun venues. Her podcast about tabletop role-playing games is Team-Up Moves (teamupmoves.com). 

More reading and viewing recommendations from this episode:

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Spinning by Tillie Walden

Jem and the Holograms (Thompson and Campbell)

The Fire Never Goes Out ND Stevenson


Episode 29: Sara Lefsyk (Of Escapism, Writing Residencies, and Ethel Zine)

Sara Lefsyk, author of We Are Hopelessly Small and Modern Birds (Black Lawrence Press, 2018) and editor of Ethel Zine Press.

Listen: On Apple, Google, Spotify, Streaming

Read: “When They Taught Me How to Slit the Bird,” at Tinderbox

Purchase: We Are Hopelessly Small and Modern Birds (Black Lawrence Press, 2018) and the Ethel Zine!

Sara Lefsyk is Head Ethel over at Ethel Zine & Micro Press. Her book We Are Hopelessly Small and Modern Birds is published with Black Lawrence Press, 2018, and she has work previously published in Bateau, The Greensboro Review, The New Orleans Review, Phoebe, Poetry City, and Tinderbox among others.

Read Also:

Leonora Carrington’s short stories

Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing-World

Episode 28: K. Iver (Of Queer Narrative, Negation, and Southern Elegy)

K. Iver, author of Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco (Milkweed Editions, 2023)

Listen: On Apple, Google, Spotify, and Streaming

Read: “Family of Origin Rewrite: 1982” in The Common

Purchase: Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco (Milkweed Editions, 2023)

K. Iver is a nonbinary trans poet from Mississippi. Their poems have appeared in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, TriQuarterly, The Adroit, and elsewhere. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. Iver is the 2021-2022 Ronald Wallace Fellow for Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. They have a Ph.D. in Poetry from Florida State University.

Episode 27: Laura Jaramillo (Of River Culture, Sequences, and War Machines)

Laura Jaramillo, author of Making Water (Futurepoem, 2022)

Listen: On Apple, Google, Spotify, and Streaming

Read: “War Machine” at The Tiny Mag

Purchase: Making Water (Futurepoem, 2022)

Laura Jaramillo is a poet and critic from Queens, New York living in Durham, North Carolina. Her books include Material Girl (subpress, 2012) and Making Water (Futurepoem, 2022). She holds a PhD in critical theory from Duke University. She co-runs the North Carolina-based reading and performance series Paradiso.

Read More:

Lyn Hejinian: My Life and My Life in the Nineties

Mina Loy: Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose (Part I)

Episode 26: Laura Minor (Of Heart, Authors’ Prayers, and Ripening)

Laura Minor, author of Flowers as Mind Control (BkMk Press, 2021)

ListenOn the web, or at your favorite player (Google, Apple, Spotify)

Read: “Flowers as Mind Control” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse.

Purchase: Flowers as Mind Control (BkMk Press, 2021)

Laura Minor’s critically acclaimed debut book of poems, Flowers as Mind Control, won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize and is published by the University of Arkansas Press, 2022. Laura won the I.L.A.’s Rita Dove Poetry Award (chosen by Marilyn Nelson) and the Emerging Writers Spotlight Award (chosen by poet D.A. Powell). She teaches poetry at Oklahoma State University.

Also please check out:

Sean Singer’s Today in the Taxi (Tupelo Press, 2022)

Rosemary Tonks – read more here

Episode 25: Bronwen Tate (Of Lexicons, Milk, and Description)

Bronwen Tate, author of The Silk the Moths Ignore (Inlandia Books, 2021).

Listen: On the web, or at your favorite player (Google, Apple, Spotify)

Read: “Moon Without Possible Approach” at Tin Fish Press.

Purchase: The Silk the Moths Ignore (Inlandia Books, 2021)

Bronwen Tate teaches poetry, creative nonfiction, and creative writing pedagogy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is the author of the poetry collection The Silk the Moths Ignore and a contributor to the collaborative book-length poem Midwinter ConstellationBronwen’s poems and essays have appeared in Bennington Review, CV2, Grain, The Rumpus, Journal of Modern Literature, and Contemporary Literature. Her substack newsletter Ok, But How? goes deep on process and includes snacks. 

Episode 24: Shelley Wong (Of Quietness, Fire Island, and Looking at Each Other)

Shelley Wong, author of AS SHE APPEARS (YesYes Books, 2022), photographed by Margarita Corporan

Listen: On Apple, Google, Spotify and elsewhere

Read: Shelley Wong’s poem “To Yellow,” which she reads on Episode 24.

Shelley Wong is the author of As She Appears (YesYes Books, May 2022), winner of the 2019 Pamet River Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best American PoetryKenyon Review, and New England Review. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman, MacDowell, and Vermont Studio Center. She is an affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts and lives in San Francisco.

Purchase: As She Appears (YesYes Books, 2022).

Episode 23: jason b. crawford (Of Queer Black Language, Phantom Safety, and Debt)

jason b. crawford, author of Year of the Unicorn Kidz (Sundress Publications, 2022)

Listen: On Apple, Spotify, Google and elsewhere

Read: “Unicorn Kidz Dance Under the Moonlight, Too” at SplitLip

jason b. crawford (They/Them) is a writer born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut chapbook collection Summertime Fine is out through Variant Lit. Their second chapbook Twerkable Moments is out from Paper Nautilus Press. Their third chapbook, Good Boi, is out from Neon Hemlock press. Their debut Full Length Year of the Unicorn Kidz will be out in 2022 from Sundress Publications. crawford holds a Bachelor of Science in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University and is the co-founder of The Knight’s Library Magazine. crawford is the winner of the Courtney Valentine Prize for Outstanding Work by a Millennial Artist, Vella Chapbook Contest, and Variant Lit Chapbook Contest. They were a finalist for the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid 2021 Poetry Contest and the 2021 OutWrite chapbook contest winner in poetry. Their work can be found in Split Lip Magazine, Glass Poetry, Four Way Review, Voicemail poems, FreezeRay Poetry, HAD, among others. They are a current poetry MFA candidate at The New School.

Purchase: Year of the Unicorn Kidz (Sundress Publications, 2022)