THE STUDY OF HUMAN LIFE – JOSHUA BENNETT (PENGUIN POETS)

Bennett has established himself as an intensely patient and deliberate writer capable of upending genre as seamlessly as he upends our understanding of the world. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: FEEL ALRIGHT BY KRIIISPY

This year I been moving different
People acting mad funny – Peter griffin
People shooting for the stars
When they should’ve just stayed wishing
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 – S4EP7: SHELLEY WONG

Join Chris in conversation with Shelley Wong, author of As She Appears (YesYesBooks), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: MEMORABLE BY SAWEETIE

Treat me like a god
Worship me like I a deity
What they said was true
And I guess she wasn’t meant for me
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 – S4EP6: SAGE FRANCIS

Join Chris with hip hop legend, Sage Francis, on the 20th anniversary of Personal Journals, about passions, process…well, really about life and music!

REPLAYS: ICU BY COCO JONES

You
Yes you
I need you
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: CONCENTRATE – COURTNEY FAYE TAYLOR (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

Taylor aptly grounds the collection in lived experience, humanizing Harlins and deliberately avoiding the familiar tropes that so often flatten Black trauma. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: 3AM IN GLENWOOD BY 21 SAVAGE

Take it back to the time
To who was really riding with me
And not just in the passenger seat
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 – S4EP4: BILLY COLLINS (fmr. UNITED STATES POET LAUREATE)

Join Chris in conversation with former United States Poet Laureate and author of Musical Tables (Random House), Billy Collins, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: SHIRT BY SZA

Blood again on my cardigan
Yes, we could’ve been more than friends
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE WORLD KEEPS ENDING, AND THE WORLD GOES ON – FRANNY CHOI (ECCO)

Choi leaves nothing on the table, offering a collection that will satisfy students of poetry and casual readers with equal fervor. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 – S4EP3: DONNEY ROSE

Join Chris in conversation with performance poet, advocacy journalist, and teaching artist, Donney Rose, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: BET BY RUSS

Bet
I’m over here just matching my energy
You sigh in relief
But there ain’t no relief in me
– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: MEMORY AND ALTERNATE HISTORIES AS CATHARSIS

Franny Choi’s “Wildlife” and “Demilitarized Zone” both offer excellent frameworks to facilitate lessons that center retrofitted memory and alternate history as a cathartic process. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 – S4EP2: COURTNEY FAYE TAYLOR

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in conversation with Courtney Faye Taylor, author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press) and winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: MIXY BY QUAVO, TAKEOFF & SUMMER WALKER

I ain’t mixy
If my actions change
Adjusting to your nonsense
Now all of sudden I’m acting strange
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: BETWEEN EVERY BIRD, OUR BONES – EMET EZELL (NEWFOUND)

The equation is one, in which, survival and domestic intimacy, are constants. It is true then, that emet ezell was first, a witness, before being identified as a poet. – Martins Deep

TPQ20 – S4EP1: LUTHER HUGHES

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Luther Hughes, author of Shiver in the Leaves, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry.

REPLAYS: BIG MAD BY KTLYN

Had to spell it out for you
On my national Scripps
Quiet ones to watch
Since we stay tight lipped
Readying my arsenal
Stay fully equipped
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: CONSTELLATION ROUTE – MATTHEW OLZMANN (ALICE JAMES BOOKS)

Olzmann’s choice to fully immerse himself in the epistle offers a chance to display his range of voice, to give space to seemingly disparate social inequities, to remain constantly intimate in his conversation with the reader. 

REPLAYS: RESET BY NAV & BRYSON TILLER

Overdue for a reset
Been climbing mountains and mountains
But I haven’t peaked yet
Still gotta eat yet
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP17 – JASMINNE MENDEZ

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Jasminne Mendez, Author of City Without Altar (Noemi Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, & Poetry!

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20 – SAIDA AGOSTINI BOSTIC

Join Chris in a sit down with Saida Agostini Bostic, author of Let the Dead In (Alan Squire Publishing), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: WHO’S GONNA LOVE YOU TONIGHT BY SNAKEHIPS & TINASHE

Who’s gonna love you
If you can’t love yourself
Because the actions that you did
Were bad for my mental health
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: SO TALL IT ENDS IN HEAVEN – JAYME RINGLEB (TIN HOUSE)

Debut author Jayme Ringleb has mastered the art of language that yearns, of metronomic white space that beats with all the quiet inevitability of an unrequited heart. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP15 – DR. DESTINY O. BIRDSONG

Join Chris in a sit down with Dr. Destiny O. Birdsong, author of Nobody’s Magic (Grand Central Publishing) and Negotiations (Tin House), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: UNRAVELING – BRANDON LEAKE (SIMON AND SCHUSTER)

This collection of poems is a mosaic of mirrors, reflecting the innerman with the wavelength of an x-ray. – Martins Deep

SPEAK FREELY: BANNED BOOKS EDITION

Though book burning may appear historically and practically extreme in comparison to book bans, consider that one of the guiding principles of book burning is public spectacle. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: A LITTLE SMALLER THAN THE FINAL QUARK – CARSON PYTELL (BULLSHIT LIT)

Refreshingly amusing poetry that captures the fallibility of human experience––and with witty titles. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: OUTSIDE BY BRYSON TILLER

Luckily I clean it up well
Yeah prepare for the tide
Not a stain on me
We take off on our ride
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP14 – SANDRA CISNEROS

Join Chris in a sit-down with the legendary Sandra Cisneros, author of Woman Without Shame (Alfred A. Knopf), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: NIGHT SWIM – JOAN KWON GLASS (DIODE EDITIONS)

“This collection is a testament to love beyond mortal remains, beyond the bleak stillness of nights and days consumed by stages of grief….” – A.R. Salandy

REVIEW: ALIVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD – SAEED JONES (COFFEE HOUSE PRESS)

Jones reaffirms his place as one of the most talented living poets writing in English with this collection, demonstrating an ever-evolving mastery of language and a distinct eye for structural balance. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20: S3EP13 – AURIELLE MARIE

Join Chris in a sit-down with Aurielle Marie, author of Gumbo Ya Ya (University of Pittsburgh Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: A SHIVER IN THE LEAVES – LUTHER HUGHES (BOA EDITIONS)

His use of structure, rhythm and extended metaphor are among the best, and his particular utilization of the crow throughout A Shiver in the Leaves sets this debut apart as one of the most layered, complex collections of the year. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3E12 – INK

Join Chris in a sit-down with @ink_just_ink, EiC of @StanzaCannon and author of 61 Central (@FLPress), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

TALK TO ME: NOLCHA FOX

I love putting odd images together, playing with alternate definitions of words, twisting the end. My adult me is the one who figures out where to submit the glorious mess I make of a poem. – Nolcha Fox

Speak Freely: Imperative Voice and the Performance of Womanhood

Xie’s use of the imperative voice, intentionally or not, mirrors the language in Kincaid’s text, and both authors use the imperative specifically to convey expectations to younger generations of women. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: EVERY POEM A POTION, EVERY SONG A SPELL – STEPHANIE PARENT (QUERENCIA PRESS)

She brought me back to when I was a little girl, feeling very much alone, seeking refuge in books that I didn’t know yet would have been with me while growing up. – Valentina Lenardi

REPLAYS: TOXIC BY YG

Dramamine because I’m sick of you
When patience ran thin
Where was thick for you?
What didn’t click for you?
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP11 – H. MELT

Join Chris in a sit down with H. MELT, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: LOTUS & THE APOCALYPSE – AUSTIN DAVIS (OUTCAST PRESS)

It’s a testament to all of us holding depression and joy in both hands, to everyone that has ever felt their world could end before the sun goes down. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: PICTURE IN MY MIND BY PINK PANTHERESS & SAM GELLAITRY

You’re no longer a need
No longer a want
A picture in my mind
My dreams you won’t haunt
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: MAGNOLIA – NINA MINGYA POWLES (TIN HOUSE)

The poems are clearly the work of someone who has dedicated significant time to craft, & who approaches language like an anthropologist or philosopher might. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20: S3EP10 – BUDDY WAKEFIELD

Join Chris in a sitdown with actor, writer, producer, and all-around bad-ass Buddy Wakefield, about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: THE WET HEX – SUN YUNG SHIN (COFFEE HOUSE PRESS)

At the heart of the poem is an image of the author’s passport, effectively bridging mythos and history to highlight a long and violent legacy of colonialism and its impact on colonized peoples. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: I LITERALLY NEVER THINK ABOUT YOU BY KYLE

No matter the companionship
Friend, coworker or foe
You’ll never catch me banana slip
I literally never think about you
I just stack chips and I dip
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP9 – MAYA MARSHALL

Join Chris in a sitdown with Maya Marshall, author of All the Blood Involved in Love and an Editor at Haymarket Books, about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: SO, STRANGER – TOPAZ WINTERS (BUTTON POETRY)

Winters offers a layered and thoughtful critique of the immigrant experience in America, the nuances of her relationship with her father and how borders operate in our lives. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: NEW TO YOU BY CALVIN HARRIS, NORMANI, TINASHE & OFFSET

Now we just on the road
No one knows where we going
Has the love come and gone
Did we miss the moment?
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP8 – BRIAN TIERNEY

Join Chris in a sitdown with Brian Tierney, the author of Rise and Float (Milkweed), about passions, process, pitfalls, poetry, and a whole lot of music! 

SPEAK FREELY: MEANING AND METAPHOR IN RACHEL MCKIBBENS’ “THE WIDOWER”

Rachel McKibbens “The Widower” captures students because it’s visceral, emotional, and refuses to be ignored. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: GRAND BY KANE BROWN

I had thoughts
Deep thoughts
Of me, myself and the pen
Replay the moment in my head
Not taking it for granted again
Some people say they family
And they never been a kin
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20: S3EP7 – I.S. JONES

Join Chris in a sitdown with I.S. Jones, author of Spells of My Name, and Editor at Frontier Poetry, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry! 

REVIEW: DIARIES OF A TERRORIST – CHRISTOPHER SOTO (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Soto’s poems are meant to be rough, triggering at times, and cut straight to the point. Readers can’t help but understand the message, empathize, and feel like we’re supposed to fix things ourselves.

REPLAYS: THE SIGN BY LIZZO

Hey how you doing?
Are you getting tired yet?
I might forgive you
But I never forget
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: LET THE DEAD IN – SAIDA AGOSTINI (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)

The language, lyrically dispensed in its distinct style, portrays bravery and reveals a poet whose voice is both an ache and a cure. – Martins Deep

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP6 – ESTEBAN RODRIGUEZ

Join Chris in a sitdown with Esteban Rodriguez, author of Ordinary Bodies (word west press 2022), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry! LISTEN IN HERE   Esteban Rodríguez is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Ordinary Bodies (word west press 2022), and the essay collection Before the Earth

REVIEW: YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT HAS EXPERIENCED AN EMERGENCY – CHEN CHEN (BOA EDITIONS LTD)

The risk of centering a speaker who is, at times, painfully self-involved is significant, but Chen balances these sentiments with frequent moments of grace, desire and appreciation. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: KARMA BY SUMMER WALKER

There is a fine line
In the root of good and evil
So stop it with this balancing act
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: TIME IS A MOTHER – OCEAN VUONG (PENGUIN PRESS)

Vuong uses structure to further disrupt linear fluidity. His poems frequently utilize a style of enjambment that eschews natural speech, presenting fragments that time and again force the reader forward. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP5 – RONNIE K. STEPHENS

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a sit-down with Poet-Historian, Ronnie K. Stephens to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry! 

SATURDAY T-SHIRT ALERT

𝐏𝐎𝐄𝐓𝐑𝐘? 𝐅𝐔𝐂𝐊 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐇.
It’s the only shirt your kid’s teacher won’t dress code them on.

REVIEW: ALL THE BLOOD INVOLVED IN LOVE (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Maya Marshall’s debut interrogates the current sociopolitical nature and its threat to reproductive rights, choice, and Blackness. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: BREAK MY SOUL BY BEYONCÉ

They don’t like us outside
But now we ain’t gonna be inside
From the inside, I can see your insides
Looks like y’all don’t like yourself inside
y’all should’ve kept your opinions inside
– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: NAMING AND UNNAMING THE SELF

Brookins, Melt, and Tran all address the process of naming and unnaming from different perspectives. Together, these poems will help foster understanding and empathy around the language we use with one another. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP4 – KHALISA RAE

Join Chris in conversation with Khalisa Rae, author of Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat (Red Hen Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: ALL THE FLOWERS KNEELING – PAUL TRAN (PENGUIN POETS)

Paul Tran’s long-awaited debut collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, is a fierce reminder that Tran is one of the most talented and visceral poets writing in America today. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: SURPRISE BY CHLÖE BAILEY

Not into too many surprises
Unless it’s a special occasion
And whenever I’m with you
It’s a cause for a celebration
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP3 – MAHOGANY L. BROWNE

Join Chris Margolin in conversation with Mahogany L. Brown, author of Woke Baby, Chlorine Sky, and Vinyl Moon (Penguin Random House), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: SAVE ME BY DANNY LONDON & HALFOFYOU

Running from the fears
When it’s coming from the inside
No more counted out
No where for me to hide
Who knows what happens when
Pain and perseverance collides?
– Reggie Johnson

RELEASE DAY: HALF-BRED – ANTHONY SALANDY

Order your copy of A.R. Salandy’s Half-Bred! Only 100 copies available!

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP2 – JENNIFER HUANG

Join Chris Margolin of The Poetry Questions in a sit-down with Jennifer Huang, author of Return Flight (Milkweed Editions), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: THE MASK – ELISABETH HORAN (THE BROKEN SPINE)

This shows Kahlo’s defiance as both lasting and as the catalyst for her own breaking point. Even when exploring Kahlo’s death, Horan stays true to the voice she has established for Kahlo. – Elisabeth Horan

REPLAYS: BLU MOON – THEY.

It happens every blue moon
When it aligns, we eclipse
I love everything about you
Fingertips to your lips
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S3EP1 – ADA LIMÓN

Sit down with Chris and Courtney Margolin, as they talk with Ada Limón, author of The Hurting Kind (Milkweed Editions), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: DEAR GOD. DEAR BONES. DEAR YELLOW. – NOOR HINDI (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is the divine feminine’s wrath with no apologies, and yes, you should say thank you. – Lyra Thomas

BROWN STUDY: Ọbáfẹ́mi Thanni

Thanni paints the scenery for us clearly—the love between families, the high stakes involved in pursuing change (fly/break, free/remembered), and nestled in these intense bonds, intense violence. – Jeni De La O

SPEAK FREELY: MENTAL HEALTH AND THE POETICS OF COLLECTIVE HEALING

Discussing mental health in the classroom can be incredibly daunting, especially as educators face public criticism and accusations of indoctrinating students. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: REVENGE BODY – RACHEL WILEY (BUTTON POETRY)

These poems rip at the meat, bone, and marrow of aspects of the institution that has settled in the hearts and minds of our societal zeitgeist. – Melissa Ferrer

REPLAYS: WAVES – RUSS

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I just need to breathe

Inhale exhale put my mind at ease
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE TREES WITNESS EVERYTHING – VICTORIA CHANG (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Each section speaks to a specific season, emphasizing the passage of time and its effect on our understanding of the world around us. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: PS – PENN KEMP & SHARON THESEN (GAP RIOT PRESS)

Perhaps we have all, as in the poem, lost someone and looked up, perceived heaven, and asked for a sign, a response, but were left only in our wonder. – Cait L. Young

REPLAYS: N95 BY KENDRICK LAMAR

Does drained looked good on me?
The pressures of life begin to sink in
And it’s like someone left the water running
Washing ourselves of the sins 
But it feels like I’m taking a ho bath
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE HURTING KIND – ADA LIMÓN (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: THERAPY MUSIC BY LOGIC & RUSS

The way the chips have fallen
Lays simple and plain
I have a duality of someone’s success is being someone else’s pain
– Reggie Johnson

REPLAYS: HONEST BY JUSTIN BIEBER & DON TOLIVER

Gotta be 
Honest
My attitude
The fondest 
Holding back?
Nothing’s promised
Sleeping on me
I’m an alarmist 
– Reggie Johnson

TALK TO ME: ALEAH DYE

I think the brevity comes somewhat from the fact that I see this glow, this halo, around my intimacy so clearly. I see it, I feel it, I say it. And that’s that. It comes (ah, another pun!) easy. – Aleah Dye

REPLAYS: BE FORREAL BY BLXST

For me it’s sink or swim
Too many people I extended branches
And gone out on a limb
The switch up is contagious
Many do it on a whim
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: WHAT IS OTHERWISE INFINITE – BIANCA STONE (TIN HOUSE PRESS)

These are poems that do not lend themselves to passive reading, but rather demand deep internal reflection and renewed engagement with the most basic, unanswerable questions of human existence. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: A PRAYER FOR A NON-RELIGIOUS AUTISTIC – LUCAS SCHEELK (MASON JAR PRESS)

Scheelk offers first-hand accounts of the effects of misdiagnosis, queer identity, and the intersections of these as an autistic person. – Caitie L. Young

SPEAK FREELY: NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EDITION

This month, I’m sharing some of my favorite pedagogical practices to introduce during National Poetry Month, as well as some of the poems I return to in my classes year after year. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: SAY MY NAME – FIVIO FOREIGN, QUEEN NAIJA & COI LERAY

Don’t give me material
If you’re reading this it’s too late 
Don’t end up becoming one of my mistakes
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE BODY MYTH – HANNAH LAND (THE HUNGER JOURNAL)

The Body Myth (The Hunger Journal) by Hannah Land is beauty in words, harmonic sounds and striking imagery, all to narrate an all too familiar painful story. – Valentina Lindardi

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S2EP15 – COURTNEY LeBLANC

Join Chris in a one-on-one with EiC of Riot in Your Throat Press and author of and Winner of the Jack McCarthy book prize (Write Bloody, 2023), Courtney LeBlanc, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: SHUTTER – TAYLOR BYAS (MADHOUSE PRESS)

Shutter is equally successful for its accessibility and relatability, centering poems that are at once concretely grounded in personal experience and immediately familiar to any reader who experiences self-doubt, heartbreak, and loneliness. – Ronnie K. Stephens

END OF SUBMISSION FEES

Get ready to submit your manuscripts! This year’s submissions are FREE; however, to make that happen we need your help!

REPLAYS: NAIL TECH – JACK HARLOW

At the end of the day
We ain’t seeing eye to eye
I swear I don’t see you crossing t’s
And I don’t see you dotting I’s
This only a percentage of this income
But we ain’t talking pies 
She can hit that 3.14 stance 
And I ain’t talking pi’s 
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: SPELLS OF MY NAME – I.S. JONES (NEWFOUND)

This entire collection is a canal–a wrenching chasm opening for rebirth–a witness to the psyche, split apart, in a world ruled by men who abandoned their humanity for the sake of domination. – Melissa Ferrer

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: S2EP14 – KRISTIN GARTH

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with Kristin Garth, the Editor in Cheif of Pink Plastic House, for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!