On the left: a woman with long, dark hair in front of a green background. On the right: the cover of the poetry book Latitude by Natasha Rao, featuring the image of three fish.

Q&A with Natasha Rao, author of Latitude

Many of the poems in the collection deal with guilt and shame because, for me, those are often the emotions that spur a poem and make me feel I need to write.

On the left: author photo of Joseph Earl Thomas, a man wearing a black sweatshirt, glasses, and blue nail polish, sitting down. On the right: the cover of Sink: A Memoir, featuring a red house and animals, including a bird, snake, frog, and alligator.

Q&A with Joseph Earl Thomas, author of Sink: A Memoir

I feel like I started to be or become more of an adult at the age of like 12 or 13 — and people say that a lot about Black kids, that we’re forced to grow up in a certain way and quicker.

Two side-by-side images. On the left: a photo of the author, a Black woman with shoulder-length curly hair resting her right cheek on her slightly-closed hand. She wears a coral and white patterned tank and a yellow chartreuse scarf loosely over her shoulders. On the right: the Bluest Nude book cover, which is a photograph of a greyish white ceramic sculpture. The sculpture is a headless figure with breast and a broad, almost cubic bell bottom.

Q&A with Ama Codjoe, Author of The Bluest Nude

Suffering is non-negotiable, and I am grateful for how poem-making helps me live with and through what is painful and cherish what is joyful. With all of this in mind, I aim to craft poems that have blood in them, that give something to the reader.