In honor of National Poetry Writing Month, a poet I greatly admire, Hanif Abdurraqib, is asking 30 poets 10 questions (for 300 answers in 30 days — wow, look at all those numbers)! I had the honor of being interviewed for Day 14. Hanif asked me about my life in Detroit, my work as a teacher, and also about my experience as a woman poet and organizer.
Here’s a sample of what I said:
Men need to do the work. That’s it. Male poets in Chicago are constantly damaging, silencing, and marginalizing female work, both artistically and in terms of organizational contributions. Women stand up, call out the bullshit, and demand change—they make new spaces that are supposed to be safe and women-led. Men smile, nod, agree, then go into those spaces and continue to fuck shit up for us. Or, even worse, they pretend to care – and benefit from that public image, while the women they’ve hurt get their reputations damaged. These men actually don’t care about women. They just want people to think they care. And that gives them more power, which they use to continue to hurt and marginalize women.
I’m interviewed alongside some fantastic poets I know and love, as well as new ones I’m happy to discover. You can read my interview here, and then check out the rest of the site!