Notes on Failure

I’m wondering these days if everything about writing and publishing is about failure. If you’re any good, anyway. This is why it has both surprised me, and not, to pick up a non-book related hobby — sewing — in recent weeks. I wanted to build something with my hands that required a different use of […]

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Considering Toni Morrison at 90

I had the somewhat frightening (intimidating?) experience of receiving Toni Morrison’s collection of essays and lectures, The Source of Self-Regard before its publication in 2019. [Here is the review I wrote for the smart folks at Bitch Media]. Unlike Ms. Morrison’s fiction, which I sometimes just did not understand (A Mercy, Paradise) or which I […]

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Black Book Stacks on Substack

Before I was a journalist, my favorite non-fiction writing and non-journaling activity was to attend readings or lectures featuring Black authors and take copious notes. So it is a kind of coming full circle that I’ve started a Substack newsletter focused on book reviews related to books for and by Black people, Black Book Stacks. […]

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A Black Girl Joy Poem: Rhythm

As published in Kweli Journal’s Black Girlhood Issue – My gratitude to Laura & crew for selecting it. Sunup to sundown, a hundred shades of Black girl beauty. Caramel & pecan-colored, rays springing from our lips, mouths full as golden balloons, sweet as Jolly Ranchers. Sugar bubble gum breath, tongues grape purple, hair deep brown […]

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On the legacy of Toni Morrison

“In time, writing became a way to ‘order my experience…’ It’s always seemed to me that black people’s grace has been with what they do with language.” Late last year I received a copy of The Source of Self-Regard. I guarded this galley with my life, and from the first page, I felt fed. Redeemed. […]

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