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I created something that felt fresh by pushing forth the idea of the ballad. I could feel the twin claims of form and freedom converging, creating a hybrid poem inspired inside and outside of the myopic canon, just as Nina’s pirouetting fingers smashed together Bach and Baldwin and the blues.

Tiana Clark, Nina is Everywhere I Go, Oxford American

I’ve been socialized to seek alternative explanations for white people’s erasure of me. I’ve been taught to see isolated mistakes, not a pattern of harm that began long before graduate school, a history of harm long before I came into the world. At the same time, white readers expect me to write about this harm. White writers say to me that they wish they had this kind of suffering to write about, since it’s what’s “hot” in publishing right now.

Chen Chen, I’m Not Here to Play the Suffering Minority for White Readers, Electric Lit

I love aesthetics and I have all these art books that I keep returning to, so that’s also all part of my process. Thinking about particular types of sentences and languages and vernacular. Pieces that are based more on the language of theory or ethnography or even in the language of Richard Pryor. Thinking about what are the different tones and energies around each poem: that’s usually how I start off. With an attitude and a tone.

Morgan Parker, The Rumpus.