Linda Ashok was one of the 25 feature poets selected by the Prakriti Foundation for The Hindu Lit for Life, 2014. Her poetry has appeared or forthcoming in various literary journals including the Mascara Literary Review, The McNeese Review and the Big Bridge Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry. She reviews poetry for The Rumpus and manages The Poetry Mail. A brief on Linda can be found on Lit Hub’s #ActualAsianPoets. Linda tweets at @thebluelimit.
Wale: Can you briefly describe the role of imagery in poetry?
Linda: Imagery does to my poems “what spring does to the cherry trees”. And much like spring, imagery in poetry is responsible for its freshness, vitality and the spirit to obsess the readers.
Wale: Beautiful! What I enjoy most in your poetry is your ‘visual mode of expression’. Do you think your early exposure to paintings and other visual arts is responsible for this?
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Craig Santos Perez for the Internet Wins re: cultural and racial appropriation!~
Are you a white poet writing mediocre poems that are constantly rejected? Do you feel cheated out of your entitled publications? Do you find yourself desperately reaching for an ethnic pseudonym?
If you answered yes, Dr. Craig’s 12-step program is designed to help you write like poets of color without committing ethnic fraud. This program is guaranteed or your privilege back!
Step 1: Read. You’ve probably spent most of your life reading white poets. Spend a year reading only poets of color. You will learn how ethnic writing is diverse and exceeds all stereotypes and expectations.
Step 2: Listen. A major thread of ethnic poetry is spoken word. Try listening to one poetry video every day. Hear our voices.
Step 3: Attend. If there is a poetry event in your town featuring poets of color, support the community and bring a dish just in case it’s a potluck.
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“We, as POC, spend so much time worrying about grace and mercy, that we convince ourselves that the racisms enacted upon us aren’t as bad as we thought they were. Why spend that time trying to be gracious and merciful to your attackers? Come at them hard, come at them fiercely, come at them with all of your power. That, too, is love. Love for the self. Love for the community. Love for the generations to come after you.”
I deeply appreciate Linda Rodriguez taking the time to create a timeline for the outrageous act by AWP’s Executive Director, David Fenza, and the outrageous act of Kate Gale, founder & managing editor of Red Hen Press.
It’s been a year since the protests began in Ferguson, MO, citizens protesting the murder of the unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, Jr. The protests quickly caught fire across the U.S., indeed, across the globe, as citizens waved signs shouting the names of unarmed citizens murdered by police forces and militias. Now, activists have returned to Ferguson and the city is once again under police lock-down, with witnesses reporting the shootings of at least two citizens. The armed white group, Oath Keepers, are allowed to troll the streets of Ferguson with assault rifles and yet nearly 100 unarmed protesters, including the poet Marvin K. White, have been arrested.
Literary Hub invited some Black writers to reflect on police brutality. Here are our thoughts.
Let’s hope that we can now talk, too, about the white women who have appropriated black male musicians for the sake of their own poems.
When I got an email earlier this week that my friends at Birds LLC have a new chapbook out called Diana Ross and the Supremes (the book has since been removed from the Birds website after several poets posted objections to the book’s cover on Facebook) featuring a photograph of a young, skinny white woman on the cover, I was pretty put off, but I tried to hope for the best. Birds LLC has published many awesomefeministwriterswhoseworkI adore, and is run by a bunch of individual poets who I respect and admire and consider my friends. I don’t mean to disparage their work as a press in writing this, but to call attention to a glaring blind spot regarding race that’s all-too-common in the poetry world. This blind spot is of course not limited to this one press, as it is, you know, endemic…
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