I recently interviewed with Live Unchained, a blogozine dedicated to highlighting the artistic, professional and community efforts of women across the African diaspora. They hit me with some interesting questions. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. To read the entire interview, visit Live Unchained Blogozine.
In addition to poems, Write to the Core has writing prompts for self-reflection that makes it feel like a life-changing personal reflection class. Why did you choose that approach?
I wanted to include the reader by adding the prompts so they could interact with the poetry. Critical thinking is a must in this age of mass media. I don’t want people walking away from my work trying to dissect my words; I want them to connect with them.
Many prompts concerned personal development, but some also addressed politics. Like prompt #9: “Classism is a big problem in American society. How do you feel about the separation of classes? Do we have a system set up that works to keep the privileged rich as the underprivileged get poorer?” How would you answer them for yourself?
I don’t believe in politics, I believe in people. Most political positions are about as useless as office managers. If you remove these people from power, I would hope that people would be able to govern themselves. Essentially, I ask these questions to challenge people to think about whether the system is working for or against us. What people do with the thoughts is up to them, but I hope for all of us to become more proactive.
Still, I don’t believe, I know the system is designed that way. In knowing that, I encourage people to become more self-reliant, support independent business, embrace the idea of cooperative economics and stop falling into the traps of consumerism. I don’t think I have an artistic responsibility to highlight or speak on these things–it’s my responsibility as a citizen. More of us should be having these conversations.
If you could make love to any artist from history who would it be?
I’ve played these sessions over and again in my head so it’s hard to choose just one. I have a slutty imagination.
I have a Jean-Michel Basquiat fantasy. He seemed to have a muted sexual energy that probably translates into a great deal of passion. I also have a Tupac fantasy. He was both rugged and sensitive. That contrast is attractive. Then there’s Bob Marley and the beautiful Marvin Gaye.
What does Living Unchained mean to you?
Living Unchained means living without constraints and making your own rules. It means defining success for yourself and refusing to bend to the expectations of others. It means not conforming to commercial ideals and honoring traditions in a way that suits the lifestyle you desire.