Cincinnati! Concert Nova Nov. 4th and 5th

Cincinnati! November 4th and 5th, I’ll be returning home for TWO shows with the Concert Nova Series, an organization that is electrifying Cincinnati’s contemporary music scene.

I’m collaborating with their musicians to build two nights of largely Cincinnati-Based poetry/story/music. I’ve maybe never been more excited for a show in my life.

CHECK OUT SHOW DETAILS HERE

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“So That If I Died It Mattered”

This morning, I am staggeringly grateful to The Millions for publishing my personal essay, “So That If I Died It Mattered.”

To my mother whose love knows no walls or ceilings, and to my brother Ben, who has always taught me that strength isn’t about guarding your vulnerability, it’s letting it sing.

READ THE ESSAY HERE

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PUP in the New York Times!!!

For three years, I’ve been entrenched in a public art project (along with Samantha Thornhill, Elana Bell, Syreeta McFadden, Adam Falkner, and countless other NYC poets) geared toward shifting how we consider art in public spaces. Poets in Unexpected Places was featured in April 22nd’s New York Times. The Times, as well, made a video blog that puts you right on the Q train (or into the laundromat). Our goal is to play our part in rebranding the public arena with creativity: call it an exercise in what’ s possible. As we continue to build this movement, it would be HUGE (and so appreciated), if you would share it (either on social media, or to a loved one on a couch). And when you consider who could possibly read a poem next, please think: “What if it’s me?”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Los Angeles: One Night Only (with Me! Mayda Del Valle! Beau Sia! Brendan Constantine! & Jeremy Radin!

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California! Next Saturday I’ll be performing at The Echo in Los Angeles for an absolutely killer show put on by PEN Center USA. It’s called “One Night Only” and you’ll also hear sets from Beau Sia, Mayda Del Valle, Brendan Constantine, & Jeremy Radin. I’m already nostalgic and it hasn’t even HAPPENED.

RSVP FOR THE FACEBOOK EVENT HERE

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Lucille Clifton

A prayer for our tomorrows by way of Lucille Clifton:
***
i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

- Lucille Clifton

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The Books and Movies that Defined My Year

As 2011 closed, my friend Angel posted her year in review through the lens of books she had read and movies she had seen. This year, I resolved to keep my lists tight, and have not read ANYTHING that did not change and teach me. The movies were laced with a few duds, but by and large I can’t believe how many worlds are out there just asking us to walk inside.

WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITES FROM 2012?
OR YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR 2013?

2012 BOOKS
Fiction:
- Moby Dick – Herman Mellville
- The Color Purple – Alice Walker
- Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward
- We the Animals – Justin Torres
- Where the Line Bleeds – Jesmyn Ward
- Pastoralia – George Saunders
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- Safe as Houses – Marie-Helene Bertino
- Tenth of December – George Saunders

Non-Fiction:
- The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
- The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
- Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry – Stephen Dunn
- The Faith of Graffiti – Mervyn Kurlansky, Jon Naar, & Norman Mailer
- Keith Haring Journals – Keith Haring
- Keith Haring 1978-1982 – Keith Haring
- Legs Get Lead Astray – Chloe Caldwell
- The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power – James Mann
- Glitter in the Blood – Mindy Nettifee
- Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
- Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood – Carlos Andrés Gomez (CURRENTLY READING)

Poetry:
- 10 for Faheem – Adam Falkner
- Shoulda Been Jimi Savanah – Patricia Smith
- Teahouse of the Almighty – Patricia Smith
- Head Off & Split – Nicky Finney
- Eyes, Stones – Elana Bell
- When the Only Light is Fire – Saeed Jones
- God Particles – Thomas Lux
- Kingdom Animalia– Aracelis Girmay (AGAIN)
- What I Saw – Jack McCarthy
- Keeping Time – Suzanne Cleary
- Bring Down the Chandeliers – Tara Hardy
- News of the World – Philip Levine
- BlackGirl Mansion – Angel Nafis
- Meet at Greene – Ishmael “Ish” Islam
- RATTLE – Issue 38
- Murder Stay Murder – Geoff Kagan-Trenchard
- The Feather Room – Anis Mojgani
- The Black Unicorn – Audre Lorde (AGAIN)

—————————————————

2012 MOVIES
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
- Superheroes
- Sound of My Voice
- Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene
- Too Big to Fail
- Planet of Snail
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Mouiser Bashir
- The Court Jester
- The Hunger Games
- The Avengers
- The Amazing Spiderman
- Maggots and Men
- Inside Job
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Interupters
- The Master
- The People’s Crisis: A Documentary About the Real Crisis in North Korea
- Looper
- Argo
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Hitchcock
- Grease
- Louder Than a Bomb
- Lincoln
- Smoked
- Spirited Away (AGAIN)

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“The New Clean” on Brave Little Books

Nice video blog review for “The New Clean” from Brave Little Books. One minute of Bathroom-Mirror-Macarena their direction:

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Ken Arkind & Jon Sands on the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast

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‎Ken Arkind and I got serious in our interview with the Scottish Poetry Library podcast on our UK tour last February:
LISTEN TO IT RIGHT HERE

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2013!

Just found out that I’ll have a poem in the June ’13 issue of RATTLE!

C’mon Apocalypse. One. More. Year. Please.
OTHER THINGS I’LL DO IF THE MAYANS WERE WRONG:
1. Skydive.
2. Wake up before sunrise to swim at Coney Island.
3. Whisper a short Aracelis Girmay poem to a stranger on the subway then run.
4. Eat more Tibetan food.
5. Learn a new magic trick (make more friends).
6. Become Carlos Andres-Gomez.
7. Cat-call someone’s ACTUAL cat.
8. Write 5 short stories.
9. Brooklyn (as a verb)
10. Call my mother no less than 84 times.

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Two Year Olds Understand True Love

All it took was my nephew Eli finishing lines in “Changing, Changing” by Aracelis Girmay when we read it before bed on Saturday. It’s official, two year olds understand true love. Here’s this morning’s amazon review. Your only job is to buy this book and read it to the children you love until they’re eighty-five.

READ THE REVIEW HERE

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