Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, National Book Award finalist Angela Flournoy talks with Deesha Philyaw in the Saturday Interview. They discuss themes pertinent to Detroit, the setting of Flournoy’s book, The Turner House. Some include housing discrimination, hip-hop, respectability politics, and the challenges of writing truthfully about the African American experience in that storied and troubled city.

Then, Julie Marie Wade reviews Andrea Gibson’s “nerve-shredding” and strikingly honest poetry collection, Pansy. “…this book will not build a shelter for you,” Wade proclaims. Ferguson, Eric Garner, and the modern-day civil rights movement occupy prominent roles in the collection.

Finally, in the Sunday Essay, Sonja Livingston describes in alliterative, wistful sentences her love for the famous women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony, who was born the day after Valentine’s Day. Livingston remembers a grade school play where Anthony was the least popular character beside the likes of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The suffragist’s stuffy reputation still feels unfair today. Anthony earns Livingston’s valentine in part because “Her refusal to blanket her words in niceties was [her] most revolutionary act…”


Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →