This week, AWM Program Director Allison Sansone talks to award-winning poet Saeed Jones about his memoir How We Fight For Our Lives, which tells his incredible story of a young, black, gay man from the south fighting to carve out a place for himself in the world.
We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer. Listen to more episodes here.
“If America was going to hate me for being Black and gay, then I might as well make a weapon out of myself.”
“I’m not very kind to myself as a poet. I don’t think it’s about being nice to myself, I think it’s about being perfect. But with writing a memoir you just have to be more generous because it’s a marathon, and I think poems are a sprint.”
“I’m not one of those writers who alcohol helps the writing. No, alcohol helps the living.”
“Memory and its unreliability is a part of identity formation. The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are how we become who we are. And so I wanted to embrace all of that instead of running from it because I just think that’s what a good memoir should do.”
“How could you read Gwendolyn Brooks or Toni Morrison and not want to have your own party writing?”