Search the Site

Blog

Interviews

10 Questions for Faylita Hicks

- By Franchesca Viaud

In a quiet hall, beneath a church in Chicago's West Side, too many of us stand in a circle and wait for introductions. Some with our headphones on, our fingers crossed. Others with our eyes on the trays of food. The radio on my hip burrs. Pitches. Hums. Condenses—until I can hear clearly an enunciated whisper clapping through.

Hello. My name is—, and I want to thank you all for being brave enough to be with us today. Brave—as in willing to be seen in the sanctified light some have been burdened with this morning. To be noticed for what we are—are all previously incarcerated or detained. We hope that you'll share, but if not—the walls sway or the people have been swaying or the room is turning counter-clockwise and we are all...


After Us

A World Without Palestinians

- By Devin Atallah and Sarah Ihmoud

Malak Mattar, When Family Is the Only Shelter
(painted during the 2021 assault on Gaza).

A massacre is unfolding in Rafah, where the population of two-thirds of the besieged Gaza strip—over 1.5 million Palestinians—has been forcibly displaced. News that the Egyptian state is building a prison camp to receive Palestinians, presumably after the impending Israeli ground invasion will have shocked the conscience of many, while footage already emerging day after day is harrowing: body parts strewn on the road; families, their homes, and a mosque burned to piles of ash; the shredded corpse of a young girl hanging off a wall, where it had been thrown by a blast. For Palestinians across the globe who are waiting, watching, and hanging on every moment, the feeling of...


Reviews

When, Where, And How to Belong in a Portrait: Big Questions in Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance

- By Shanta Lee

Review of Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance by Kevin A. Brown. Forthcoming in 2024 from Parlor Press.

Will our life’s work be considered a lead melody or an accompanying harmony in the symphony of history? Does it matter if one plays first or fourth chair in the orchestra if we are talking about a piece that forever changed modern music? Or perhaps it does not matter how large or small of a role one played as long as one was in the room, because that symphony was situated within a period that created a lasting legacy for music. This metaphor applies to some of the persistent questions posed by Kevin A. Brown in Countée Cullen’s Harlem Renaissance. By the author’s own admission, this collection is not “. . . an...


Interviews

10 Questions for Stefanie Kirby

- By Franchesca Viaud

Equal parts energy and mass, bodies are held
together by light. You learn how light
pollutes, dependent on its ability to scatter.
The womb gets lighter with every daughter
you have and every daughter you don't have.
Those daughters weigh stones hand over
fist before building them into your womb
like a ballast or fallen wall.
—from "I Ask My Daughter to Consider Her Body," Volume 64, Issue 4 (Winter 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I started as a storyteller. Before I could write any words myself, I dictated a story I titled Der Bergsteiger (The Mountain Climber) to my mom, who added all of the words beneath my illustrations. That book is still at my...


Interviews

10 Questions for Deesha Philyaw

- By Franchesca Viaud

The man who is about to ask you to marry him grabs the check from the little tin tray and slides the three fortune cookies toward you.
"All yours," he says.
     You grin and he grins back. Three years together, and you have your rituals, your routines. When you have pizza, he eats the crusts you leave behind; when you have Chinese, you claim the fortune cookies he thinks are silly. 
     You crack open the first cookie and read the fortune inside. It says, A decade from now, the man sitting across from you is going to choke you. 
     You squint at the tiny piece of paper and read it again. Then you glance up at the man sitting across from you, the man you plan to spend the rest of your...


Join the email list for our latest news