Ndinda Kioko is a Kenyan writer and filmmaker whose works have appeared on several platforms and publications including The Trans-African, BBC Radio 4, Wasafiri Magazine, Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara,and Jalada Africa. She has been awarded the...
I like to see work that is sturdy yet vulnerable. A piece of art, for me, should be both emotionally and intellectually compelling and doesn’t rely entirely on one element. It should risk something.
In essence, I want the writers who were too ‘experimental’ (whatever that means) for the SFF magazines, but too ‘genre’ (whatever that means) for the other journals that publish experimental work.
I wanted the reader to witness Lucy, participate in what happens to her. It was important to me that this piece not be passive but something that readers interact with almost physically. I am hoping for squirming.
“I gravitate more and more anyways to writers who foreground language vs. ones who try to cast a spell where the reader disappears into the story so much that the language seems to disappear. “
People should know that Birmingham is AFLAME with literary culture, and it’s only spreading faster.
I can see the tours as art. The tours disrupt the current landscape by inserting voices who have been historically silenced. By relating the history as well as the names of specific enslaved men, women, and children, the typical soundscapes of the University are disrupted, transformed, and remade.
The beauty of this poem is how it resists the urge to pull punches, placing its readers in a position beyond that of witness: if this is what I must endure, you must help me endure it. Help me gather the teeth, confettied against the glinting pipes. Help me see the dead flies / mottled / a swarm of distant, dark balloons. Do not be mistaken – this is no sad resignation but, instead, the blood-holy howl of a body refusing to be shaped by its enemies.
I use white space to play with the rhythm and beat of an open rather than set structure. There’s another song I love which switches from Rumba to Bembé and I like thinking about what that would look like on the page. I like to use Spanish to subvert English, to reclaim tongue, but Spanish is also a colonizer language, so I like to find Taíno and Yorùbá words too.
Jennifer S. Cheng’s work includes poetry, lyric essay, and image-text forms. Her debut book, HOUSE A (2016), was selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize, and her forthcoming hybrid collection, MOON: Letters, Maps, Poems (May 2018), was...