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Reginald Dwayne Betts: A Line From the Nicest MC

“The only psalms I read was on the arms of my niggas” Jay Z I borrow from hip-hop all the time, if not content than approach. I write a rhyme sometimes won’t finish for days,1 as the line goes, which is to say I revise. I rework, re-see, re-think. And right now I’m reconsidering how Read More …

Kenji C. Liu: Five Views of the Same Poetry: Situating the Self

My father’s childhood village in Taiwan was small when I first visited as a child. It had two dirt roads. During the bai se kong bu—White Terror—hundreds of thousands were disappeared or executed. Now it’s a city, and those dirt roads are main thoroughfares in a democracy. The house is surrounded by buildings instead of fields, instead of spies. Read More …

Jerrold Shiroma: From Piecebook

“Graffiti is all the same line, the same feeling, even though different people use it for a different purpose. It’s to be seen by the people. Graffiti is worked out on the street. All this stuff is on the street.” Read More …

Sesshu Foster: Notes on Good (“New & Improved!”) Poetry

Several people asked whether their poems were “good.”
Is your life good? What do you do with it, and how do you feel about that?
Is your breathing good, is it working for you? When you do it, it fulfills its functions, doesn’t it? I’d suggest that poems serve you, too. Like breathing, even if you forget about paying attention to its regulation and effects. Read More …

Sesshu Foster and Arturo Romo: Fly the East L.A. Dirigible Transport Lines!

[Editors’ note: We are pleased to include this collaborative work by Sesshu Foster and Arturo Romo, “Shipping Manifesto: Fly the East L.A. Dirigible Transport Lines!” Please click on the image below for the PDF.] — Sesshu Foster has taught in East L.A. for 25 years. He’s also taught writing at the University of Iowa, the Read More …