on that saturday morning still early by weekend standards the whoops of joy & insistent, incessant toots of celebration underscored maybe by a shared sense of relief & a rebounding from disbelief & an end to the nervous tension of dayslong counting Grew louder as the sun continued its arc across the smiling sky into the evening until we rested newly hopeful for tomorrow
One of the things that I do to get centered is listen to Keep Me, a gorgeous tune from my gorgeous friend, Derek Lassiter. Every time, I breathe deeply and savor the mood and message of this beautiful song.
This novel, crisply-written and beautifully constructed, evoked questions from my own life as a twentysomething gaining his adult footing: “does he like me?” “am i smart enough for this?” “was that a racist comment or am i just crazy?” Like Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, a maddening but satisfying read.
At first I thought “oh lorrrrd another book about straight Black New York braggarts and bravado”, but I re-learned to never judge a book…
Jamel Brinkley presents nine stories about surprisingly unassuming Black men and boys, each trying to navigate his way through life’s ambiguities. Maybe the author was riffing on questions from various elements and eras of his own life. Super well written, an absorbing read.
u would not believe these cherry blossoms branches popping with bright floral hope sprinkling over grass like pink pastel snow confetti celebrating the advent of spring like yayyyyy we did it welcome back
Roxane Gay was right: “Oh my god. Heavy is astonishing…” Loved it! Terrific and sober storytelling about numerous intense themes all wrapped up together – size, weight, poverty, privilege, love, self-love, hunger, family, and surprisingly, literacy. Unorthodox writing. Loved it!
Yay! I am SUPER proud of this Prize. I had the idea in 2017 (see backstory here). The folks at NC Writers Network have been phenomenal hosts and organizers! Thanks to Ed and Michele of NCWN, founding donors Carol, Patrick, and Reggie, and all who made this possible (including Randall Kenan, one of my favorite writers ever!!)! See full story at ncwriters.org.