Two poets exchange letters about language, love, and basketball.
Have you read Tressie McMillan Cottom’s book “Thick” yet? If not, that’s a mistake, but a mistake you can begin to rectify by reading this excellent, wide-ranging interview to understand just how sharp a thinker she is.
“The pistol has always been my private affair, a kind of secret lover, more seductive for being clandestine and dangerous. We have this thing, the pistol and I, and I don’t want to betray that.”
Christine Marshall considers cats and kittens, the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, and how writing has helped her to express and process her anger, resentment, and grief after a series of miscarriages.
“The transformation from citizen to prisoner is terrible to behold, regardless of its justice. Unlike my sister the teacher or my brother the lawyer, I take prisoners, and to exercise that authority is to invoke a profound social trust.”
At age sixteen, the daughter of a wealthy Florida couple with chemical dependencies found herself facing her uncertain future, tangled in a web of trauma, self-harm, sexual objectification, and leaning on her tight relationships with other young women. This essay is part of the author’s forthcoming memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.
After two breakups, a single mother starts building a sense of self that’s true to herself and not beholden to other people.
The writer, who is black, on how his experience with racism and racial profiling has formed his identity in the U.S.:
“Among the more concrete ramifications of this corruption of the imagination is that when the police suspect a black man or boy of having a gun, he becomes murderable: Murderable despite having earned advanced degrees or bought a cute house or written a couple of books of poetry. Murderable whether he’s an unarmed adult or a child riding a bike in the opposite direction. Murderable in the doorways of our houses. Murderable as we come home from the store. Murderable as we lie facedown on the ground in a subway station. Murderable the day before our weddings. Murderable, probably, in our gardens.”