if a poem is intended to “move” readers, as in, enact a kind of change that leaves one different than before they encountered it, it should be especially attuned to detail, to sense and memory.

I think it is important for every writer to define what “winning” is for them. They have to discover what gives them fulfilment or value because writing, the act of putting words on paper for oneself or for others, is quite different from the industry that has sprung up around writing. 

A Short Talk is a series of short interviews and conversations with writers, editors, artists, and cultural workers across Africa and the Black diaspora. It is conceived as a companion (not an abridgement or summary) […]

Two visual artists: Khaled Olufemi Mamah (Fhemy.raw) and Sambacor Konate (Le Jardin Jolof) discuss African art, fashion, photography, masks, history, and griot tradition in Mali and other parts of West Africa. They speak in the […]

“I think it’s such a unique place in which to come of age, all those multiple cultural influences, that sense of being at the edge, even marginal, but also not completely cut off from the country & world. And then that Pwani aesthetic of being fiercely private but open. The unspoken morality, that sense of manners, respectability, slowness, proud resignation, the casual vulgarity, etc. I could go on. I don’t know. It has a hold on me. I’ve stopped questioning it.”

“We don’t have as much control as we think we do. And I understand that’s a terrifying realization. The person I think I am now may slip away from me in the next hour. Can I afford to admit this to myself? The world outside our heads can be such a chaotic place, even with the social structures we’ve established to make it less so. Being able to say “this is who I am” when everything else feels uncertain, flimsy, prone to dissolution, may be the greatest comfort we have. Is anything more seductive, more empowering?”

For the third edition of the Long Talk series, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor re-examined what it means to formulate a state.

“Ladan Osman and Safia Elhillo: ‘Intimate Archives and Reimagined Histories’ for Long Talk: Conversations Across Intimate Diasporas”

“Kwame Dawes and Gregory Pardlo: ‘Intimate Archives and Reimagined Histories’ for Long Talk: Conversations Across Intimate Diasporas”