What would you describe as your core strengths as a writer? Where would you like to see yourself grow?
My core strengths. Now this is a difficult question. I think it's been my willingness to always do what I feel like I need to do to grow. I haven't always made many friends that way, but inevitably I wrote what I wanted and earned most people's respect. I want to spend more time reading, trying to grow as a critical writer and write more prose. In terms of poetry, I'm intrigued with poetic form and how we can subvert the Eurocentric canonical notions that we have about it. I would like to collaborate with more visual artists and musicians since I've often been a solo writer sharing my work.
How would you describe your connection to young writers as it relates to your creative life?
My connection to young writers has kept me from being hyper-cynical/critical. They look at the world with new eyes, and when they have the breakthrough moments where they articulate something so honest and challenging for the first time — I live for those moments. Young writers make me always consider what it takes to keep writing new, how writing works as an art and a disciplined practice. Sometimes, I think it's only me who keeps me writing, which is true to some degree, but they are the ones who keep me writing.
Where do you see yourself in ten years, personally and creatively?
Ten years from now, I'm hoping to have published at least two or three books, not necessarily all poetry, maybe one of them is an anthology. I've thought I might have a Ph.D. in African American/Africana/Black Studies (whichever term people think they need to apply), American Studies or Women's Studies by then. Teaching, traveling and balancing that with a family would be nice. Hopefully, I will be practicing yoga on a regular basis. I remember one time a student at Wright College asked me in a Q & A what I wanted to do with my life, and I proceeded to tell her about all my professional goals and writerly aspirations when she cut in and asked, "other than that?" I felt like some inner voice had been plucked from my head and embodied in this girl. So, I thought about it, and yoga, having a garden, developing a spiritual life, staying politically responsible and critical and having good friends who could give a damn whether I write or not were my response to her question. All of that is still a work in progress.