In this conversation between Kwame Dawes, poet, critic, a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and Chancellor’s professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer winning American poet and essayist, Guggenheim Foundation fellow, Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, and Director of the MFA program at Rutgers University, history was neither an abstract nor distant elegy. It was living, breathing, and intimate. It hovered around your mouth, your neck. Navigating multiple and transatlantic subjectivities, they made space in this memorable conversation for intimate diasporas, epics of the dispossessed, and memory as song and attenuation. Moving across borders and temporalities from Dawes’ African and Caribbean’s origin to Pardlo’s engagement with African American history dating back to slavery, reconstruction, and the afterlives of this dispossession, they made a feast of ideas, resistance and tenderness.
Kwame Dawes & Gregory Pardlo: “Intimate Archives and Reimagined Histories”