Category: THE FEATURES

TALK TO ME: AMANDA McLEOD

“And that in-between is what I wanted to look at in Heartbreak Autopsy. I’ve known a lot of people who’ve walked around wondering where their happily ever after is – this book is for them”. – Amanda McLeod

GETTING THE GURLZ: AN INTERVIEW WITH I.S. JONES

“If someone is perceived as “conventionally attractive” then their pain is taken more seriously, or to be frank, people care more about their suffering.” – I.S. JONES

TPQ20: EPISODE 1 – SAM HERSCHEL WEIN

Courtney and Chris Margolin sit down with Sam Herschel Wein to talk about Passions, Process, Pitfalls, and Poetry. 

REPLAYS: ABAJÓ LA DICTADURA – HALFOFYOU

“…ensure that your art is a voice for generations to come and to be a leader in your own revolution”. – Reggie Johnson

REPLAYS: SAN JUNIPERO – GABRIELKNOWSEVERYTHING

Seeking permanence in these verses

Been playing out my own story to find what my worth is

My purpose

– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: POETRY AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM

“Poetry is something I love deeply, mainly because those from whom I have learned the most, personally and professionally, have been poets. I’ve never encountered a lesson that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of a poem or three”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: WASTE MY TIME – TRE SENSEI

I want something natural
No challenge too great to handle
No trying to boast or ramble
Love is here to be gambled
So I don’t want a sample
I want something that’s ample
– Reggie Johnson

TALK TO ME: COLIN BANCROFT

“The language of wrestling is poetic because it’s filled with metaphor and allusion and countless other vehicles for expression.” – Colin Bancroft

REPLAYS: 180 – DANNY LONDON

180 discusses the notion that as things around you move so quickly, it’s ok to slow down and reflect, restart or refocus. No matter how many times, I learned to continue to do what’s necessary in order to continue doing what you love.

REPLAYS: CANCELED – BRYSON TILLER

Certain artists captivate me with the shock value they bring when it comes to the music they release… Listening to this song recently had the same reaction I had when listening to it the first time and I was able to curate a new piece. Enjoy!

TPQ WEEKEND EXPANSION PACK #4

We’ve Got Questions! You’ve Got Answers! Download a New Question Image Each Week and Collect Them All!

REPLAYS: DIE FOR YOU

In the beginning stages of my writing, I just wanted to mimic the musicality of the artists to improve my writing abilities.

TPQ WEEKEND EXPANSION PACK #3

We’ve Got Questions! You’ve Got Answers! Download a New Question Image Each Week and Collect Them All!

REPLAYS: OVER – DRAKE

The song served as a reintroduction for my love for writing. For the first time, I was able to combine my love for both music and writing together.

TPQ WEEKEND EXPANSION PACK #2

We’ve Got Questions! You’ve Got Answers! Download a New Question Image Each Week and Collect Them All!

TALK TO ME: MORDECAI MARTIN W/ LANNIE STABILE

“The reverence isn’t in the experiences, it’s in the powerful men. A woman is supposed to feel flattered when a man finds her irresistible. This book is a middle finger to that expectation”. – Lannie Stabile

REPLAYS: CAN’T TOUCH THIS – MC HAMMER

My love for music dates back to me being a kid, where whenever my mom needed to occupy my time while she was busy, she would turn on the music videos.

TPQ WEEKEND EXPANSION PACK #1

We’ve Got Questions! You’ve Got Answers! Download a New Question Image Each Week and Collect Them All!

GETTING THE GURLZ: AN INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELLE BATES

Khalisa Rae sat down with Gabrielle Bates, poet, podcast host, educator, gorgeous-picture taker, and all-around good person.

ODES FROM THE EDITOR: AUGUST EDITION

But, damn, Poetry, you always have a way of bringing me right back. Because it turns out every writer, narrator, and subject matter, has a different make, model, obstacle, feel, and endgame. Plotlines do change. Stories do unfold. Forms to do come together. Characters do come to life.

BROWN STUDY: “OMELET” – ZORA SATCHELL

What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another? 

REPLAYS: “LOVE ME LIKE YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME” – KYLE

Should’ve learned to love me
By asking questions
Instead of taking my actions for granted
And second guessing
My motives
My intentions

REPLAYS: NO TIME BY KRIIISPY & M.I.L.O.

She says her time is money
And I don’t have time to waste
Tired of dealing with the same dudes
Done with the copy and paste
Babygirl just like wine and I’m trying to have a taste

REPLAYS: “PASADENA” BY TINASHE & BUDDY

Filled with positivity
Strengthening my sanity
Took last year
As a moment of clarity
The things you see now
Bask in the rarity

TALK TO ME: “MY GOAL IS TO REPLICATE THE DEVASTATION” – LYNN(E) SCHMIDT

To tell our story, and to help tell other people, “Hey it’s okay if you’re fucked up for a long time after your dog dies.” Grief is such a wild journey, and it is different for all of us.

REPLAYS: “SUN GOES DOWN” – LIL NAS X

Didn’t know what depression felt like
Until I was nineteen
It took my crown and the jewels
And said it was fit to be king

REPLAYS: SEEING GREEN BY NICKI MINAJ, DRAKE, & LIL’ WAYNE

I been doing this here since Wayne’s dedication
I been doing this here, hear the dedication
I’ve been doing this hair, na look at the transformation
Went bald on everyone
And look how things shaping up
If you ain’t growing with me
Then you had to be cut

“MY MFA ONLY MADE MY BLENDER WHIR FASTER”: TALK TO ME: CHRISTINE SLOAN STODDARD

I used discarded camera and computer parts to print into clay tablets. I bleached chicken bones, spray-painted various objects, drew large-scale oil pastel scenery, and cut up old books all for art installations.

REPLAYS: WHAT YOU NEED – DON TOLIVER

I can be your new edition
Can you stand the rain
And when the grey clouds roll away
Does the sun reveal your pain

REPLAYS: “LOVE LINE” – SHIFT K3Y & TINASHE

This week’s #REPLAYS takes on “Love Line,” the newest track from British producer Shift K3Y, featuring Tinashe.

BROWN STUDY: “HOME-GOING CELEBRATION” BY KHALISA RAE

“Home-Going Celebration” is a sly poem that bubbles with contradictions. An elegy rooted in mourning, the language pops with the dizzy rush of one sip too many.

“THE READER THINKS THEY’RE IN ON THE JOKE”. – TALK TO ME: SHAWN BERMAN

I’m inspired a lot by stand-up comedians, so a lot of my work is me pretending I’m on stage telling a joke, trying to draw the audience in. – Shawn Berman

REPLAYS: Save Your Tears (Remix) by The Weeknd & Ariana Grande

If I wanted someone to switch up on me, I’d take my talents to Nintendo

Opened up to you just to be shut out like a window

The price I paid for your love as you sent it to others like Venmo

“TODAY WE ARE A WHITE-WING DOVE, TOMORROW WE ARE A SPIRIT” TALK TO ME: KHALISA RAE

Because so many false narratives are being told about Black bodies, it is so crucial to tell the truth about what happens to us and the crimes that are committed against us. I think the true art is sharing the horror in a way that isn’t just trauma porn, but it’s art for a purpose.

REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE

REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE ​

Bogeyman in my mind
Trying to creep into reality
Defeated him in the past
So right now he mad at me

REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain

REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain

And I 99.9% mean when I say
I’m glad I washed my hands of any
And everything surrounding the pain

“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE

“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE

I hope to get the same emotions across whether that be confusion, despair, or hope to the readers and to enforce that in such a way it leaves them thinking about the poems for a while.

REPLAYS – Sip It by Iggy Azalea

REPLAYS – Sip It by Iggy Azalea

The journey of an artist can be filled with highs and lows. Some meet roadblocks trying maintain success. One factor is the record label. Because of this, many artists, choose to go Independent. One of these is Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea.

BROWN STUDY: “SELF PORTRAIT AS A MERMAID OR DEAD GIRL” – GAIA RAJAN

BROWN STUDY: “SELF PORTRAIT AS A MERMAID OR DEAD GIRL” – GAIA RAJAN

I started thinking about who owns grief, how memory and grief affect the body, and soon enough, the poem turned into an elegy for someone I’ve lost.

REPLAYS: MY TIME IS NOW – TONE

REPLAYS: MY TIME IS NOW – TONE

Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately hear that the time is now.

GETTING THE GURLZ W/ SOFIA FEY & KHALISA RAE: AIREA D. MATTHEWS

GETTING THE GURLZ W/ SOFIA FEY & KHALISA RAE: AIREA D. MATTHEWS

“…in America, the plight of black womxn is fraught with neglect and abuse, where some who behold both our intellect and beauty can’t seem to assert us as either”.

REPLAYS: PEACHES – JUSTIN BIEBER

REPLAYS: PEACHES – JUSTIN BIEBER

We’ll be the one Justin sang about 
saying love was until the end of time.

REPLAYS: HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY – GIVEON

REPLAYS: HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY – GIVEON

I love the emotion as his baritone voice accentuates the rawness and sincerity in its lyrics. The relatability of the song draws people in and you cannot help but sing along.

HUSTLE & BUSINESS OF POETRY – KHALISA RAE AND SOFIA FEY

HUSTLE & BUSINESS OF POETRY – KHALISA RAE AND SOFIA FEY

Ranging from tips & tricks, to gripes, to gratitude, we have a lot to say! Welcome to the Hustle & Business of Poetry.

REPLAYS: BEAUTIFUL MISTAKES – MAROON 5 & MEGAN THEE STALLION

REPLAYS: BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE – MAROON 5 & MEGAN THEE STALLION

Beautiful Mistakes has just thrown its hat in the ring for Song of the Summer. As the weather warms up, I can bet we will hear this song blast all over the airwaves soon.

“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX

“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX

I think the rewards of communicating through neurodivergence are not using up energy on masking and hiding. Plus then embodying the fact that humans think/feel/experience the world differently. 

REPLAYS: BRYSON TILLER – LIKE CLOCKWORK

REPLAYS: BRYSON TILLER – LIKE CLOCKWORK

In an industry where the price of fame can change a person for better or worse, Bryson Tiller has remained himself through it all.

BROWN STUDY: “I Don’t Care if Mary Jane Gets Saved or Not” – TAYLOR BYAS

white people, do not recognize the need for succor in Black women, as early as ZERO years old. Their screams (voiced concerns or cries for help) appear no more urgent or fearsome than the twinkling of Christmas lights

“IT’S RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET THE WHOLE TIME” – TALK TO ME: JENI DE LA O

“IT’S RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET THE WHOLE TIME” – TALK TO ME: JENI DE LA O

there are thousands of Amanda Gormans submitting poems right now, being read and rejected right now, by readers and editors who simply haven’t the refined palate to discern a truffle from button mushroom. 

REPLAYS: RUSS – MISUNDERSTOOD

REPLAYS: Russ – Misunderstood

I admire his appreciation for the craft. His consistency and his ability to have people relate to him through his songs is why his fanbase goes hard for the rapper.

POETRY IN CINEMA: POETIC JUSTICE

POETRY IN CINEMA: POETIC JUSTICE

It is Angelou’s poetry we hear in Justice’s voice, how she is trying to make good choices in a world where bad choices are sometimes the only choice.  – Jessica Mookherjee

“MUCH OF POP CULTURE STEMS FROM MY CULTURE” – TALK TO ME: CHRIS L. BUTLER

“MUCH OF POP CULTURE STEMS FROM MY CULTURE” – TALK TO ME: CHRIS L. BUTLER

I think you have to be a bit selfish if you’re going to employ this style as a writer. When I say selfish I don’t mean greedy, but rather authentic.

REPLAYS – What It Feels Like by Nipsey Hussle & Jay Z

REPLAYS – What It Feels Like by Nipsey Hussle & Jay Z

In times where open dialogue surrounding different political issues have come to the forefront, the fact the discussion is happening is evident we are witnessing our own revolution in this lifetime.

POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU DESERVE MUCH BETTER IN YOUR LIFE

POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU DESERVE MUCH BETTER IN YOUR LIFE

Animal ‘imprinting’ is hard wired, mechanical almost, just like Lorenz’s ducks, humans attach to anything in that critical period of childhood– whatever its shortcomings. 

THE LENNY² EXCLUSIVE – TALK TO ME: BRADLEY GALIMORE

“We all know poems about the emotional atmosphere, mental health, pets, etc. Where are the poems about getting an email during sex that adds a warm laughter to a humid room?”

– Bradley Galimore

POETRY IN CINEMA: DON’T FORGET YOU ARE STARDUST

POETRY IN CINEMA: DON’T FORGET YOU ARE STARDUST

The poem uses the image of glaciers and deserts merging through time, and as the poem moves the lovers disappear. The land will still continue after the lovers have gone.

“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN

“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN

I think there’s a level of trusting that people will empathize with my story, and if not my story, then the music of my words.

REPLAYS: Streets by Doja Cat

REPLAYS: Streets by Doja Cat

Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately choose the success as we see in Doja Cat’s single, ‘Streets’.

POETRY IN CINEMA: WE DON’T TRUST THE NATURE INSIDE US

POETRY IN CINEMA: WE DON’T TRUST THE NATURE INSIDE US

Spoken over the shots of a child spilling milk and a mother in tears, the poem reminds that we are made by moments that can not be undone. 

“I DON’T KNOW IF MY DREAMS SAY ANYTHING TO ME AT ALL” – TALK TO ME: RACHEL CROSBIE

“I DON’T KNOW IF MY DREAMS SAY ANYTHING TO ME AT ALL” – TALK TO ME: RACHEL CROSBIE

When I was younger, I felt more comfortable writing in different character voices. I don’t think I had enough emotional maturity to tap into something completely personal

REPLAYS: ESCOBAR – Xponentbeatz featuring Kriiispy & Halfofyou

REPLAYS: ESCOBAR – Xponentbeatz featuring Kriiispy & Halfofyou

This column will take a look at songs from week of which I can’t get enough, and deep dive into my own thoughts in regards to them.

POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU WERE LOST AND GONE FOREVER, OH MY DARLING

POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU WERE LOST AND GONE FOREVER, OH MY DARLING

Their flaws are immediate; “I’m a vindictive little bitch truth be told” she tells him. While he ruminates that he falls in love with anyone who gives him attention. – Jessica Mookherjee

“WHICH REQUIRES ME TO BEND LANGUAGE TO MY WILL” – TALK TO ME: TAYLOR BYAS

“WHICH REQUIRES ME TO BEND LANGUAGE TO MY WILL” – TALK TO ME: TAYLOR BYAS

I absolutely code switch because there isn’t an aspect of my life that doesn’t request that sort of labor from me. It’s built into my life, and therefore it manifests in my poetry. – Taylor Byas

REPLAYS: VIBEZ – ZAYN

REPLAYS: VIBEZ – ZAYN

This column will take a look at songs from week to week that I can’t get enough of and deep dive into my own thoughts in regards to them. The first track comes from Zayn, best known for being in the pop group, One Direction,

“I CAN’T TALK ABOUT HERITAGE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT RHYTHM” – TALK TO ME: JASON B. CRAWFORD

“I CAN’T TALK ABOUT HERITAGE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT RHYTHM” – TALK TO ME: JASON B. CRAWFORD

That’s just it, dance is part of the language. Trying to figure out how to express me loving my friends sometime is about twerking with them. Sometimes it’s just watching them do it

POETRY IN CINEMA: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

POETRY IN CINEMA: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

The long drawn out arguments over life and death, over decisions of who to love – are almost meaningless in the ‘heat of the moment’ and when faced with imminent destruction.

POETRY IN CINEMA: THESE HUMANS ARE EXTRAS, EXTRA HUMANS

POETRY IN CINEMA: THESE HUMANS ARE EXTRAS, EXTRA HUMANS

However, there may well be a responsibility in the storyteller to carry the world’s stories. As Wings of Desire shows who bares witness makes all the difference to the end of the story. – Jessica Mookherjee

POETRY IN CINEMA: IT’S NOT AN EASY THING TO MEET YOUR MAKER

POETRY IN CINEMA: IT’S NOT AN EASY THING TO MEET YOUR MAKER – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

This week I tackle the poetry in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and specifically the use of William Blake’s poem, America: A Prophecy.

POETRY IN CINEMA: IT DOESN’T REALLY RHYME THOUGH

POETRY IN CINEMA: IT DOESN’T REALLY RHYME THOUGH

Maybe because Paterson stands for more then the poet, he stands for the poetry of a place, the breath, a name, a location inspiring the life that poetry can give a person’s mind. – Jessica Mookherjee

POETRY & CINEMA: MISTAH KURTZ – HE DEAD – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

POETRY & CINEMA: MISTAH KURTZ – HE DEAD – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

Elliot and Coppola, both modernist poets, do the age old job of the poet, to tell tales of war and the heroes of war. They do it, like Kurtz, with awareness of poetry, with images of beauty.

POETRY & CINEMA #2: ANYWAY… TEENAGE STUFF FOREVER – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

POETRY & CINEMA #2: ANYWAY… TEENAGE STUFF FOREVER – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

This week it’s Charlie Kaufman’s (writer of Being John Malkovitch) difficult, angsty, psychological horror film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” and a cool, young, and defiant Canadian poet, Eva HD’s poem “Bonedog”. 

POETRY IN CINEMA: INTERSTELLAR AND DYLAN THOMAS – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

POETRY IN CINEMA – JESSICA MOOKHERJEE

How does Poetry fit into the world of Cinema? Each week, Jessica Mookherjee will dive into a new poem and movie to let us know.