"Wild Love" - a conversation with poet, gardener, & National Book Award finalist, Ross Gay by Kyla Marshell

If you haven't noticed, I'm kinda obsessed with polymaths. I interviewed musician/fiction writer Van Hunt, musician/chef Kelis, and now poet/gardener, Ross Gay, whose third collection of poems, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, is a celebration of the intense joy, love, pain, and "full-on-ness" of life. It's also a nominee for this year's National Book Award in poetry! #TeamCaveCanem. Read it on the Poetry Foundation.

Is a chair still a chair, even when no one's sitting there? by Kyla Marshell

In case you missed it: Here's my tribute to the great Luther Vandross and his masterpiece signature song, "A House Is Not a Home" on the Gawker Review of Books. I spoke to 3 Luther-lovers of 3 generations to get their takes on what made Luther's rendition of this song––which had already been recorded over a dozen times––so powerful; and what made him one of the greatest singers of our lifetimes.

Long Live Loofah!
 

Poems in Books! by Kyla Marshell

Guess what's not dead? Print. Check out these anthologies and journals that have recently featured my work.

 Nymph #6 by William Villalongo

Nymph #6 by William Villalongo

  • "Germ" and "Asides" in Cave Canem Anthology XIII: Poems 2010-2011 (Willow Books, 2015)
  • "Song of My City" in Shadow of the Geode: The Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word / Performance Extravaganza - 2015 Anthology. I kicked off 2015 by reading at and hosting a stretch of this poetry marathon, held at the Nuyorican. Here's the compilation of everyone who read that day.
  • "Fathers Who Aren't in Heaven" - Punning in the voice of Eve in the Fjords Review Black American Edition, best known as BAE.
  • "We'll Always Have Negritude" - Originally in Blackbird, an encore presentation of my poem about Black people at the apocalypse appears in SPOOK #4: Afro-Future.

Not a poem, not in a book, but also check out my essay "The Other World Where Everyone Lives" – in which I'm wrestling with how to be compassionate in the face, and to the faces of, racial injustice. It's in the wonderfully precocious Blueshift Journal.

Van Hunt: Fiction writer, astrophysicist, & occasional troll by Kyla Marshell

Singer, musician & extraordinary songwriter, Van Hunt, had the distinct pleasure of speaking with his biggest fan (your girl!) for the Gawker Review of Books. He's passionate about mathematics, boxing, George Clinton, and good music criticism. Which is to say: the influences for his songs, (like on his new album The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets) come from just about everywhere. You can even read an excerpt of one of his short stories AND learn about his anonymous trolling of UFOlogists. Yes.

Interview with Patrik-Ian Polk, director of the new film 'Blackbird' by Kyla Marshell

 Patrik-Ian Polk. Photo: Everett/REX Shutterstock

Patrik-Ian Polk. Photo: Everett/REX Shutterstock

Patrik-Ian Polk is the director of the new film Blackbird starring Mo'Nique and Isaiah Washington. We talked about the initial difficulty he faced in finding a black actor to play a gay character, and how Empire has initiated a new conversation in black America about homosexuality.

“There’ll be an article about a [black celebrity] coming out, and people go, Why do we need to know this? It’s the same kind of thing, that same old, outdated attitude of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’, keep it in the closet. And that’s the attitude that, quite literally, sometimes kills people. That’s why I think it’s important that we have a film like this and people see it because people think it’s out there, you think it’s everywhere, but people still respond that same way.”

Read more on the Guardian.