Get Lit Minute

Get Lit - Words Ignite

A weekly podcast focusing on all things poetic, poetry and poets. Each week we will feature a poet and their poem. We will be highlighting classic poets from our In-School Anthology, sharing brief bios on the poet and a spoken word reading of one of their poems. We will also be introducing contemporary poets from the greater poetry community and our own Get Lit poets into the podcast space.

read less
ArtsArts

Episodes

Lawson Fusao Inada | “Healing Gila”
10-05-2024
Lawson Fusao Inada | “Healing Gila”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Lawson Fusao Inada. A third-generation Japanese American, his collections of poetry are Before the War: Poems as They Happened (1971); Legends from Camp (1992), winner of the American Book Award; Just Into/Nations (1996); and Drawing the Line (1997). Both jazz and the experience of internment are influences in Inada’s writing. The section titles of his Legends from Camp reveal these ongoing concerns: Camp, Fresno, Jazz, Oregon, and Performance. Inada edited the anthology Only What We Carry: The Japanese Internment Experience (2000), a major contribution to the record of the Japanese American experience. He narrated the PBS documentaries Children of the Camps and Conscience and Constitution and is featured in the video What It Means to Be Free: A Video About Poetry and Japanese American Internment and the animated film Legends from Camp, made with his son Miles Inada. One of his poems is inscribed on a stone at the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, Oregon. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, “Healing Gila”.  You can find more poems like this in our Get Lit Anthology at www.getlitanthology.org .“Healing Gila”     for The PeopleThe people don't mention it much.It goes without saying,it stays without saying—that concentration campon their reservation.And they avoid that massive siteas they avoid contamination—that massive voidpunctuated by crusted nails,punctured pipes, crumbledfailings of foundations . . .What else is there to say?This was a lush land once,graced by a gifted peoplegifted with the wisdomof rivers, seasons, irrigation.The waters went flowingthrough a network of canalsin the delicate workingsof balances and health . . .What else is there to say?Then came the nation.Then came the death.Then came the desert.Then came the camp.But the desert is not deserted.It goes without saying,it stays without saying—wind, spirits, tumbleweeds, pain.Support the Show.Support the show
Toyo Suyemoto | "Barracks Home"
07-05-2024
Toyo Suyemoto | "Barracks Home"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, librarian, and memorist, Toyo Suyemoto. During her early years, Suyemoto published under her husband’s surname as Toyo Kawakami, Toyo S. Kawakami, and Toyo Suyemoto Kawakami, though later in life she preferred to be remembered only by her family name. Suyemoto was trained from an early age to be a poet. Her mother taught Japanese literature to her and her eight siblings as children, and also recited Japanese translations of Shakespeare. Suyemoto’s own work in haiku and tanka is the direct result of her mother’s influence, though she was also worked in conventional English lyric forms. Suyemoto herself began publishing poems in Japanese American community papers when she was a teenager, and she continued writing during her years of incarceration as a young woman in Topaz. During her lifetime, Suyemoto published a reference book for librarians, Acronyms in Education and the Behavioral Sciences, as well as poems in Yale Review, Common Ground and the anthology American Bungaku (1938). Interest in her work increased in the 1970s and 80s, however, and Suyemoto’s work soon appeared in the anthologies Speaking for Ourselves: American Ethnic Writing (1969), Ayumi: A Japanese American Anthology (1980), and Quiet Fire: A Historical Anthology of Asian American Poetry 1892-1970 (1996) as well as in the magazines Many Mountains Moving and Amerasia Journal. Four years after her death in 2003, Rutgers University Press published her memoir I Call to Remembrance: Toyo Suyemoto’s Years of Internment (2007). SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Barracks Home".  You can find more poems like this in our Get Lit Anthology at www.getlitanthology.org ."Barracks Home"This is our barracks, squatting on the ground,Tar papered shacks, partitioned into roomsBy sheetrock walls, transmitting every soundOf neighbor's gossip or the sweep of broomsThe open door welcomes the refugees,And now at least there is no need to roamAfar: here space enlarges memoriesBeyond the bounds of camp and this new home.The floor is carpeted with dust, wind-borneDry alkalai, patterned with insect feet,What peace can such a place as this impart?We can but sense, bewildered and forlorn,That time, disrupted by the war from neatRoutines, must now adjust within the heart.Support the Show.Support the show
Garrett Hongo | excerpt from “Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi”
03-05-2024
Garrett Hongo | excerpt from “Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, memoirist, and editor, Garrett Hongo. His collections of poetry include Yellow Light (1982), The River of Heaven (1988), Coral Road: Poems (2011), and The Mirror Diary (2017). His poetry explores the experiences of Asian Americans in Anglo society, using lush imagery, narrative techniques, and myth to address both cultural alienation and the trials of immigrants, including the forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, as well as the anti Japanese sentiment today. SourceThis episode includes a reading of an excerpt from his poem, “Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi”.  You can find more poems like this in our Get Lit Anthology at www.getlitanthology.org .“Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi”No one knew the secret of my flutes,and I laugh nowbecause some said I was enlightened.But the truth isI’m only a gardenerwho before the Warwas a dirt farmer and learnedhow to grow the bambooin ditches next to the fields,how to leave things aloneand let the silt build upuntil it was deep enough to stinkbad as night soil, badas the long, witch-greyhair of a ghost.No secret in that.My land was no good, rocky,and so dry I had to sneakwater from the whites,hacksaw the locks off the chutes at night,and blame Mexicans, Filipinos,or else some wicked spiritof a migrant, murdered in his sleepby sheriffs and wanting revenge.Even though they never believed me,it didn’t matter—no witnesses,and my land was never thick with rice,only the bamboogrowing lush as old melodiesand whispering like brush strokesagainst the fine scroll of wind.I found some string in the shedor else took a few stalksand stripped off their skins,wove the fibers, the floss,into cords I could bindaround the feet, ankles, and throatsof only the best bamboos.I used an ice pick for an awl,a fish knife to carve finger holes,and a scythe to shape the mouthpiece.I had my flutes.*When the War came,I told myself I lost nothing.My land, which was barren,was not actually mine but leased(we could not own property)and the shacks didn’t matter.What did were the power lines nearbyand that sabotage was suspected.What mattered to mewere the flutes I burnedin a small fireby the bath house.*All through Relocation,in the desert where they put us,at night when the stars talkedand the sky came downand drummed against the mesas,I could hear my fluteswail like fists of windwhistling through the barracks.I came out of Camp,a blanket slung over my shoulder,found land next to this swamp,planted strawberries and beanplants,planted the dwarf pines and tended them,got rich enough to quitand leave things alone,let the ditches clog with silt againand the bamboo grow thick as history....Support the Show.Support the show
Layli Long Soldier | “Resolution (6)”
30-04-2024
Layli Long Soldier | “Resolution (6)”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Layli Long Soldier. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017). She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Resolution (6)”  featured in our 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“Resolution (6)”I too urge the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land although healing this land is not dependent never has been upon this President meaning tribal nations and the people themselves are healing this land its waters with or without Presidential acknowledgement they act upon this right without apology–                                  To speak to law enforcementthese Direct Action Principles                                  be really clear always askhave been painstakingly drafted                                  who what when where whyat behest of the local leadership                                  e.g. Officer, my name is _________from Standing Rock                                  please explainand are the guidelines                                  the probable cause for stopping mefor the Oceti Sakowin camp                                  you may askI acknowledge a plurality of ways                                  does that seem reasonable to youto resist oppression                                  don’t give any further info*                                  People ask why do you bring upwe are Protectors                                  so many other issues it’s becausewe are peaceful and prayerful                                  these issues have been ongoing...Read more in our Get Lit Anthology at www.getlitanthology.org .                                                        Support the Show.Support the show
Claude MaKay | “I Know My Soul”
25-04-2024
Claude MaKay | “I Know My Soul”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Claude McKay. He was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a prominent literary movement of the 1920s. His work ranged from vernacular verse celebrating peasant life in Jamaica to poems that protested racial and economic inequities. His philosophically ambitious fiction, including tales of Black life in both Jamaica and America, addresses instinctual/intellectual duality, which McKay found central to the Black individual’s efforts to cope in a racist society. He is the author of The Passion of Claude McKay: Selected Poetry and Prose (1973), The Dialectic Poetry of Claude McKay (1972), Selected Poems (1953), Harlem Shadows (1922), Constab Ballads (1912), and Songs of Jamaica (1912), among many other books of poetry and prose. McKay has been recognized for his intense commitment to expressing the challenges faced by Black Americans and admired for devoting his art and life to social protest, and his audience continues to expand. Source This episode includes a reading of his poem, “I Know My Soul”  featured in our 2022 and 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“I Know My Soul”I plucked my soul out of its secret place,And held it to the mirror of my eye,To see it like a star against the sky,A twitching body quivering in space,A spark of passion shining on my face.And I explored it to determine whyThis awful key to my infinityConspires to rob me of sweet joy and grace.And if the sign may not be fully read,If I can comprehend but not control,I need not gloom my days with futile dread,Because I see a part and not the whole.Contemplating the strange, I’m comfortedBy this narcotic thought: I know my soul.Support the Show.Support the show
Fatimah Asghar | “If They Come for Us”
21-03-2024
Fatimah Asghar | “If They Come for Us”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, filmmaker, educator and performer, Fatimah Asghar. Their work has appeared in many journals, including  POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others.  Their work has been featured on new outlets like PBS, NPR, Time, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and others. In 2011, they created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina called REFLEKS while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-genocidal countries. They are a member of the Dark Noise Collective and a Kundiman Fellow. They are the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-Nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color.  Their debut book of poems, If They Come For Us, was released One World/ Random House, August 2018. Along with Safia Elhillo, they are the editor of Halal If You Hear Me, an anthology that celebrates Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans. SourceThis episode includes a reading of their poem, “If They Come for Us”  featured in our 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“If They Come for Us”these are my people & I findthem on the street & shadowthrough any wild all wildmy people my peoplea dance of strangers in my bloodthe old woman’s sari dissolving to windbindi a new moon on her foreheadI claim her my kin & sewthe star of her to my breastthe toddler dangling from strollerhair a fountain of dandelion seedat the bakery I claim them toothe Sikh uncle at the airportwho apologizes for the patdown the Muslim man who abandonshis car at the traffic light dropsto his knees at the call of the Azan& the Muslim man who drinksgood whiskey at the start of maghribthe lone khala at the parkpairing her kurta with crocsmy people my people I can’t be lostwhen I see you my compassis brown & gold & bloodmy compass a Muslim teenagersnapback & high-tops gracingthe subway platformMashallah I claim them allmy country is madein my people’s imageif they come for you theycome for me too in the deadof winter a flock ofaunties step out on the sandtheir dupattas turn to oceana colony of uncles grind their palms& a thousand jasmines bell the airmy people I follow you like constellationswe hear glass smashing the street& the nights opening darkour names this country’s woodfor the fire my people my peoplethe long years we’ve survived the longyears yet to come I see you mapmy sky the light your lantern longahead & I follow I followSupport the Show.Support the show
Carolyn Forché | “The Boatman”
12-03-2024
Carolyn Forché | “The Boatman”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet and writer, Carolyn Forché. Coiner of the term “poetry of witness,” she is frequently characterized as a political poet; she calls for poetry to invest in the “social.” She published her first book of poetry, Gathering the Tribes, in 1975. Forché received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship after translating the work of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Algería in 1977; the fellowship enabled her to work as a human rights advocate in El Salvador. She has published five books of poetry and the 2019 memoir What You Have Heard Is True. Her work is often described as “devastating” due to its searing honesty and unflinching accounting of travesties. Forché has been given various awards in recognition of her work on behalf of human rights and the preservation of culture and memory.This episode includes a reading of her poem, “The Boatman”  featured in our 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“The Boatman”We were thirty-one souls all, he said, on the gray-sick of seain a cold rubber boat, rising and falling in our filth.By morning this didn’t matter, no land was in sight,all were soaked to the bone, living and dead.We could still float, we said, from war to war.What lay behind us but ruins of stone piled on ruins of stone?City called “mother of the poor” surrounded by fieldsof cotton and millet, city of jewelers and cloak-makers,with the oldest church in Christendom and the Sword of Allah.If anyone remains there now, he assures, they would be utterly alone.There is a hotel named for it in Rome two hundred metersfrom the Piazza di Spagna, where you can have breakfast underthe portraits of film stars. There the staff cannot do enough for you.But I am talking nonsense again, as I have since that nightwe fetched a child, not ours, from the sea, drifting face-down in a life vest, its eyes taken by fish or the birds above us.After that, Aleppo went up in smoke, and Raqqa came under a rainof leaflets warning everyone to go. Leave, yes, but go where?We lived through the Americans and Russians, through Americansagain, many nights of death from the clouds, mornings surprisedto be waking from the sleep of death, still unburied and alivebut with no safe place. Leave, yes, we obey the leaflets, but go where?To the sea to be eaten, to the shores of Europe to be caged?To camp misery and camp remain here. I ask you then, where?You tell me you are a poet. If so, our destination is the same.I find myself now the boatman, driving a taxi at the end of the world.I will see that you arrive safely, my friend, I will get you there.Support the Show.Support the show
Joy Harjo | "Perhaps the World Ends Here"
05-03-2024
Joy Harjo | "Perhaps the World Ends Here"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet and writer, Joy Har­jo. She is the 23rd Poet Lau­re­ate of the Unit­ed States and a mem­ber of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hick­o­ry Ground). She is only the sec­ond poet to be appoint­ed a third term as U.S. Poet Laureate. Har­jo began writ­ing poet­ry as a mem­ber of the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mexico’s Native stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, the Kiva Club, in response to Native empow­er­ment move­ments. Har­jo is the author of nine books of poet­ry, includ­ing her most recent, the high­ly acclaimed An Amer­i­can Sun­rise (2019), which was a 2020 Okla­homa Book Award Win­ner; Con­flict Res­o­lu­tion for Holy Beings (2015), which was short­list­ed for the Grif­fin Prize and named a Notable Book of the Year by the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion; and In Mad Love and War (1990), which received an Amer­i­can Book Award and the Del­more Schwartz Memo­r­i­al Award.  Har­jo per­forms with her sax­o­phone and flutes, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynam­ics Band, and pre­vi­ous­ly with Joy Har­jo and Poet­ic Jus­tice.  Har­jo has pro­duced sev­en award-win­ning music albums includ­ing Wind­ing Through the Milky Way, for which she was award­ed a NAM­MY for Best Female Artist of the year.  SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Perhaps the World Ends Here”  featured in our 2024 Get Lit Anthology.“Perhaps the World Ends Here”The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.Support the Show.Support the show
Lateef McLeod | "I Am Too Pretty For Some Ugly Laws"
27-02-2024
Lateef McLeod | "I Am Too Pretty For Some Ugly Laws"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, writer, and scholar, Lateef McLeod.  He published his first poetry book entitled A Declaration of A Body Of Love in 2010 chronicling his life as a black man with a disability and tackling various topics on family, dating, religion, spirituality, his national heritage and sexuality. He also published another poetry book entitled Whispers of Krip Love, Shouts of Krip Revolution this year in 2020. He currently is writing a novel tentatively entitled The Third Eye Is Crying. In 2019 he started a podcast entitled Black Disabled Men Talk with co-hosts Leroy Moore, Keith Jones, and Ottis Smith. SourceThis episode includes a reading by Mason Granger of McLeod's poem, “I Am Too Pretty For Some Ugly Laws”  featured in our 2021 and 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“I Am Too Pretty For Some Ugly Laws”I am not suppose to be herein this body,herespeaking to you.My mere presenceof erratic moving limbsand drooling smileused to be scrubbedoff the public pavement.Ugly laws used to beon many U.S. cities’ law books,beginning in Chicago in 1867,stating that “any person who isdiseased, maimed, mutilated,or in any way deformedso as to be an unsightly or disgusting object,or an improper person to be allowedin or on the streets, highways, thoroughfares,or public places in this city,shall not therein or thereonexpose himself to public view,under the penalty of $1 for each offense.”Any person who looked like mewas deemed disgustingand was locked awayfrom the eyes of the upstanding citizens.I am too pretty for some Ugly Laws,Too smooth to be shut in.Too smart and eclecticfor any box you put me in.My swagger is too boldto be swept up in these public streets.You can stare at me all you want.No cop will buss in my headand carry me away to an institution.No doctor will diagnose mea helpless invalid with an incurable disease.No angry mob with clubs and torcheswill try to run me out of town.Whatever you do,my roots are rigidlike a hundred-year-old tree.I will stay right hereto glare at your ugly face too.Support the Show.Support the show
W.E.B. Du Bois | "The Song of the Smoke"
20-02-2024
W.E.B. Du Bois | "The Song of the Smoke"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, W.E.B. Du Bois. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an American sociologist, civil rights activist, and historian. Throughout his career, Du Bois was a founder and editor of many groundbreaking civil rights organizations and literary publications, such as The Niagara Movement and its Moon Illustrated Weekly and The Horizon periodicals, as well as the hugely influential National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its monthly magazine The Crisis. An adamant socialist and peace activist, his writing for these journals was pointedly anti-capitalist, anti-war, and pro-women’s suffrage, on top of his core pursuit of the dismantling of systemic racism and discrimination. Possessing a large and hugely influential body of work, Du Bois is perhaps most notably the writer of the authoritative essay collection The Souls of Black Folks (1903) and his monumental work Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 (1935). Du Bois never stopped fighting for and evolving his beliefs, joining the Community Party at the age of 93. This episode includes a reading by Austin Antoine of Du Bois' poem, “The Song of Smoke”  featured in our 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“The Song of Smoke”I am the Smoke KingI am black!I am swinging in the sky,I am wringing worlds awry;I am the thought of the throbbing mills,I am the soul of the soul-toil kills,Wraith of the ripple of trading rills;Up I’m curling from the sod,I am whirling home to God;I am the Smoke KingI am black. I am the Smoke King,I am black!I am wreathing broken hearts,I am sheathing love’s light darts;Inspiration of iron timesWedding the toil of toiling climes,Shedding the blood of bloodless crimes—Lurid lowering ’mid the blue,Torrid towering toward the true,I am the Smoke King,I am black. I am the Smoke King,I am black!I am darkening with song,I am hearkening to wrong!I will be black as blackness can—The blacker the mantle, the mightier the man!For blackness was ancient ere whiteness began.I am daubing God in night,I am swabbing Hell in white:I am the Smoke KingI am black. I am the Smoke KingI am black!I am cursing ruddy morn,I am hearsing hearts unborn:Souls unto me are as stars in a night,I whiten my black men—I blacken my white!What’s the hue of a hide to a man in his might?Hail! great, gritty, grimy hands—Sweet Christ, pity toiling lands!I am the Smoke KingI am black.Support the Show.Support the show
Paige Lewis | "The Moment I Saw a Pelican Devour"
20-11-2023
Paige Lewis | "The Moment I Saw a Pelican Devour"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Paige Lewis. is the author of Space Struck (Sarabande Books, 2019). Their poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Best New Poets 2017, Gulf Coast, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere.This episode includes a reading of her poem, “The Moment I Saw a Pelican Devour.”  Find more poems by Lewis in our Get Lit Anthology."The Moment I Saw a Pelican Devour"a seagull—wings swallowing wings—I learnedthat a miracle is anything that God forgotto forbid. So when you tell me that saintsare splintered into bone bits smaller thanthe freckles on your wrist and that each speckis sold to the rich, I know to marvel at thisand not the fact that these same saints are stillwholly intact and fresh-faced in their Plexiglastomb displays. We holy our own fragmentswhen we can—trepanation patients wear theirskull spirals as amulets, mothers frame the driedforeskin of their firstborn, and I’ve seen youswirl my name on your tongue like a thirst pebble.Still, I try to hold on to nothing for fear of beingcrushed by what can be taken because sometimesnot even our mouths belong to us. Listen, inthe early 1920s, women were paid to paint radiumonto watch dials so that men wouldn’t have to askthe time in dark alleys. They were told it was safe,told to lick their brushes into sharp points. Thesewomen painted their nails, their faces, and judgedwhose skin shined brightest. They coated theirteeth so their boyfriends could see their biteswith the lights turned down. The miracle hereis not that these women swallowed light. It’s that,when their skin dissolved and their jaws fell off,the Radium Corporation claimed they all diedfrom syphilis. It’s that you’re telling me aboutthe dull slivers of dead saints, while thesewomen are glowing beneath our feet.Support the Show.Support the show
Kimiko Hahn | "The Dream of Shoji"
09-11-2023
Kimiko Hahn | "The Dream of Shoji"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Kimiko Hahn. She is the author of ten books of poems, including: Foreign Bodies (W. W. Norton, 2020);The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996); and Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992). As part of her service to the CUNY community, she initiated a Chapbook Festival that became an annual event co-sponsored by major literary organizations. Since then, she has added chapbooks to her publication list: Write it!, Brittle Process, Brood, Ragged Evidence, A Field Guide to the Intractable, Boxes with Respect, The Cryptic Chamber, and Resplendent Slug. In 2017, she and Tamiko Beyer collaborated on the chapbook Dovetail.  Hahn takes pleasure in the challenges of collaboration: writing text for film (Coal Fields, 1985 experimental documentary by Bill Brand, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She-Thing 1995 MTV special, and Everywhere at Once 2008 film based on Peter Lindbergh’s still photos and narrated by Jeanne Moreau); writing poems for visual arts (2016 art-book poetics and 2017 photograph-broadsides with Lauren Henkin). This episode includes a reading of her poem, “The Dream of Shoji”  featured in our 2022, 2023, and 2024 Get Lit Anthology.“The Dream of Shoji”How to say milk?  How to say sand, snow, sow,linen, cloud, cocoon, or albino?How to say page or canvas or rice balls?Trying to recall Japanese, I blank out:it's clear I know forgetting.  Mother, tell mewhat to call that paper screen that slides the interior in?Support the Show.Support the show
Elisa Gonzalez | "Failed Essay on Privilege"
31-10-2023
Elisa Gonzalez | "Failed Essay on Privilege"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, essayist, and fiction writer, Elisa M. Gonzalez. Her work appears in the New Yorker and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale University and the New York University M.F.A. program, she has received fellowships from the Norman Mailer Center, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Rolex Foundation, and the U.S. Fulbright Program. She is the recipient of a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Failed Essay on Privilege"  featured in our 2022 and 2023 Get Lit Anthology."Failed Essay on Privilege"I came from something popularly known as “nothing”and in the coming I got a lot. My parents didn’t speak money, didn’t speak college.Still—I went to Yale. For a while I tried to condemn.I wrote Let me introduce you to evil. Still, I was a guest there, I made myself at home. And I know a fine shoe when I see one.And I know to be sincerely sorry for those people’s problems. I know to want nothing morethan it would be so nice to have and I confess I’ll never hate what I’ve been givenas much as I wish I could. Still I thought I of all people understood Aristotle: what is and isn’t the good life . . .because, I wrote, privilege is an aggressive form of amnesia . . . I left a house with no heat. I left the habit of hunger. I left a roomI shared with seven brothers and sisters I also left. Even the good is regrettable, or at least sometimesshould be regretted yet to hate myself is not to absolve her. I paid so muchfor wisdom, and look at all of this, look at all I have—Support the Show.Support the show
Angélica Maria Aguilera | "The Star Spanglish Banner"
07-10-2023
Angélica Maria Aguilera | "The Star Spanglish Banner"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of international touring Chicana poet and teaching artist, Angélica María Aguilera. She comes from a mixed family of immigrants and uses spoken word to rewrite the narrative of what it means to be Mexican, woman, and American. Her work has appeared in publications such as Button Poetry, the Breakbeat Poets Anthology LatiNext among others. Aguilera is the author of "Dolorosa" on Pizza Pie Press and "America As She." SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “A Star Spanglish Banner”  featured in our 2022/23 Get Lit Anthology."A Star Spanglish Banner"Oh say can you seeMiguel wants to learn the Star-Spangled Banner.Miguel was the last fourth grader to migrate into my English as a second language course,and is the first to raise his hand for every question.But Miguel views letters in a different way than most.Because there are a lot of words in Spanishthat do not exist in English,he learns how to pack them in a suitcase and forget.Because many phrases translate backwardswhen crossing over from Spanish to English,throughout the whole song, he tends to say things in the wrong order.So when I ask him to sing the second verse,it sounds likeAnd the rocket's red glareWe watched our homeBursting in airIt gave proof to the nightthat the flag was still theirsThey say music is deeply intertwined with how we remember.Miguel hears the marimba and learns the word home,hears his mother's accent being mocked and learns the words shame,hears his mother's weeping and learns the word sacrifice.He asks, what does the word America mean?What does the word dream mean?I say two words with the same meaning are what we call synonyms.You could say America is a dream,something we all feel silly for believing in.He says, teach me.Teach me how to say bandera.Teach me how to say star.Teach me how to hide my country behind the consonantsthat do not get pronounced.Miss Angelica,teach the letters to just flee from my lips like my parents,and build a word out of nothing.In my tongue, we do not pronounce the letter H.Home is not a sound my voice knows how to make.It's strange what our memories hold on to.It's strange what makes it over the borderto the left side of the brain,what our minds do not let us forget,how an accent is just a mother tonguethat refuses to let her child go. The language barrier is a 74 mile walllodged in the back of Miguel's throat,the bodies of words so easily lost in the translation.Oh, say for whom does that star-spangled banner yet waveGive back the land to the braveand let us make a home for us free.Support the Show.Support the show
Rigoberto Gonzalez | "Birthright"
18-09-2023
Rigoberto Gonzalez | "Birthright"
In this episode of Get Lit Minute, we spotlight the accomplished writer and poet, Rigoberto González. Rigoberto González was born in Bakersfield, California and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. He earned a BA from the University of California, Riverside and graduate degrees from University of California, Davis and Arizona State University. He is the author of several poetry books, including The Book of Ruin (2019); Unpeopled Eden (2013), winner of a Lambda Literary Award; and So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks (1999), a National Poetry Series selection. He has also written two bilingual children’s books, Antonio’s Card (2005) and Soledad Sigh-Sighs (2003); the novel Crossing Vines (2003), winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award; a memoir, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (2006), which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; and the book of stories Men without Bliss (2008). He has also written for The National Book Critics Circle's blog, Critical Mass; and the Poetry Foundation's blog Harriet. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle, and the PEN/Voelcker Award, González writes a Latino book column for the El Paso Times of Texas. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers, on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and on the Advisory Circle of Con Tinta, a collective of Chicano/Latino activist writers.  González is a professor of English and director of the MFA Program in creative writing at Rutgers University–Newark. He lives in New York City. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, “Birthright”  featured in our 2022/23 Get Lit Anthology."Birthright"in the villageof your birthcuts a wallbleeds a border in the heatyou cannot swimin the rainyou cannot climb in the northyou cannot becuts a papercuts a law cuts a fingerfinger bleedsbaby hungersbaby feeds baby needsyou cannot goyou cannot buyyou cannot bring baby growsbaby knowsbordercrossingseasons bring winter bordersummer borderfalls a borderborder springSupport the Show.Support the show