To celebrate The Conversant’s evolving relationship with The Volta website collective over its five year run, Senior Editors Ching-In Chen and Caleb Beckwith have selected pieces from our archives which exemplify that relationship for our October issue. This conversation was originally part of our September 2015 issue. Enjoy!
This Woodland Pattern interview series will document conversations between some of the writers, artists and performers who pass through Woodland Pattern and Milwaukee. Danez Smith read at Woodland Pattern on February 28, 2015 as part of Shift: Guest Curators from the LGBTQ Community. Below are excerpts from the reading as well as a conversation conducted in person with guest curator Freesia McKee before the reading.
Danez Smith, “Obey,” “my father gives a lecture on the power of good pussy,” “all spring we’d watch grandpa rub his knee and complain about rain,” and “Dinosaurs in the Hood,” recorded by Michael Wendt, Woodland Pattern, January 17, 2015
Freesia McKee: Okay, so before we talk about your book, I’m wondering if we could talk about the Hands Up Don’t Shoot edition of Winter Tangerine Review that you guest edited. I’d like to talk to you about the involvement of poets in the Black Lives Matter movement and how many people have pointed out that this isn’t a new movement; it’s a movement of hundreds of years. I’m wondering about your thoughts on how the role of poets and poetry is evolving in this current era of the movement where we’re at now.