Digressions with Sayeeda Copeland

I hope you all have an opportunity to listen to my podcast episode with Sayeeda Copeland, a rising talent and an amazing person. Sayeeda blows my mind with her strength of purpose and her strength, period. And as for her writing, well, she just pulls you right in.

Here’s how she opens her novel, Queens:

They told her that it would be a quick meeting and in her words she expected to be “in and out.” My mother’s jaw clenched as they escorted us to the visiting room. There wasn’t much in there. A couple of wooden chairs, a table, a stuffed toy chest, and a television that flickered on the wall. She didn’t say much but her eyes did. She squinted, something she would do only when she was uncomfortable or smiling, but this time she sure wasn’t smiling. They darted from the door to my aunt and back to me. She was nervous. I could tell because she kept scratching at the mole in the middle of her right hand. I tried sitting on her lap, but her legs constantly shook so I just joined my cousins at the wooden play table.

I dare you to turn away from this.

More podcasts

As I’ve started doing these podcasts, I’ve realized just how similar we are to one another — trying very hard to have our writing and our ideas noticed by the world at large, yet humble enough to recognize the unlikelihood of piercing through the thick membrane of media and occupations that compete for the attention of our intended audience.

So I’m kind of amazed at this evidence of persistence, a stubbornness born of equal parts desperation and almost messianic purpose: listen to these, my words, for they will forever mark you and change the way you view the world.

It’s been my absolute honor to have interviewed Michael Gottlieb, Adam Wilson, Victoria Redel, and Sayeeda Copeland; there are more, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Here are some links should you consider buying their books:

https://www.chax.org/product-page/selected-poems-of-michael-gottlieb

https://bookshop.org/books/sensation-machines-9781641292863/9781641291651

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781935536376

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