Interview with Benjamin Booker by Kyla Marshell


Check out my piece on the singer-songwriter-guitarist Benjamin Booker in the new issue of Kinfolk Magazine (issue 29) on newsstands and online now! A native Floridian, he talked about transitioning to L.A. (by way of an open-ended vacation to Mexico City), and how James Baldwin inspired him to be a witness, and then some.

Watch the video for his lovely song "Believe" below:

Interview with Ngugi wa Thiong'o by Kyla Marshell

I got to speak with the great Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan author, scholar, activist and all around non-word mincer about his new memoir Wrestling with the Devil, which covers his year of unjust imprisonment in Kenya, back in 1978.

“If I meet an English person, and he says, ‘I write in English,’ I don’t ask him ‘Why are you writing in English?’ If I meet a French writer, I don’t ask him, ‘Why don’t you write in Vietnamese?’ But I am asked over and over again, ‘Why do you write in Gikuyu?’"

Plus, we have the same birthday!

Desus + Mero = <3 by Kyla Marshell

I got to talk to my favorite late-night TV hosts whom I watch the next day on the VICELAND app...Desus and Mero! Read our "30 Minutes with..." convo on the Guardian here.

Ps: Mero is like a puppy dog, and #DarkDesus is really a thing :D :D :D

Voicing Counterpoint: An interview with Tyehimba Jess by Kyla Marshell

"I felt like it’s always interesting to get as many sides of a story as you can. A contrapuntal poem has the capability of bringing two people together and having them talk in a way that is very hard to duplicate." - Tyehimba Jess

Words and music! My two loves! Here's my conversation with poet Tyehimba Jess, whose new book OLIO reanimates the lives of 19th century black musicians--everyone from Scott Joplin and Blind Boone, to Sissieretta Jones and the McKoy Twins. Plus, some of the poems you can tear out and fold into new forms/ways of reading. Hashtag: innovation.

Check me out in the February issue of O! by Kyla Marshell

Hey! I have a piece in the February issue of O, the Oprah Magazine (get it now! It won't be on stands in February!). I wrote about my harrowing experience with mental illness as a teenager, and how certain symptoms, like delusion, magical thinking, and hallucination are ones we all experience in some perfectly healthy way, shape, or form. Pick up a copy! This issue is the first in a 3-part series on mental illness and treatment. Many great resources. And here is my snarky interview. Yay.