• Reflections on Austin for The New York Times

    When the bombings started in Austin, I was distracted by other things like a lot of other folks. I saw 17-year-old Draylen Mason’s name and that he had been attacked, but I didn’t register a connection between him and the other people who were being harmed in Austin until too late, until Governor Abbott decided… Continue Reading

  • Live On Your Own Terms: A Memoir Excerpt

    Winter is one of my favorite seasons, and I really want to like Christmas, but it’s complicated by the fact that my mother died during this season five years ago. Even before she fell ill with terminal cervical cancer, the holidays have always been challenging, and I’ve never been particularly good at knowing how to… Continue Reading

  • Aster(ix) Journal: Forever Shifting

    I recently moved back to New York after being away for a little while, and as I get reacquainted with home, I’ve also been looking through the archives to assess how much has changed and how much remains the same.¬† When I search my memory for a time and space in which I felt completely… Continue Reading

  • The Story of Our Talent for Survival

    I remember exactly when I learned that reading in the hood is a revolutionary act. It was at the heavy hands of Michelle, the largest sixth grader I’d ever seen, who was one of the Bronx girls around the way who liked to chase me to deliver a beat down as punishment for not letting… Continue Reading

  • On Gloria Naylor and The Beautiful Darkness

    When I was 16 or 17, I sometimes had the great privilege of riding with some of my high school classmates to author lectures at SUNY Albany. One of my favorite hobbies back then was attending readings, book signings and lectures. It was one thing to be obsessed with reading and writing, to escape in… Continue Reading

  • My Writing Process: Forget what you hear about writing

    Nicole D. Collier, one of my favorite members of my virtual writing tribe, asked me to participate in the blog tour. Since I love to read and write about writing (in lieu, sometimes, of actually writing) and I’ve noted that some other writers I admire and respect, including Tananarive Due, Tayari Jones and Daniel Jose… Continue Reading