Before finding poetry, my background was in journalism. The one thing, maybe the only thing, that I truly miss about that journey is simple. I miss the digging. I miss being able to ask questions that engage the artists I respect. Early this year, I was thinking about how it is that we celebrate poetry. Some of us write 30 poems during the month of April. Some of us read, or watch set up a playlist of youtube poetry videos, or share a poem on an open mic, or if we really catch the spirit…we may jump in a poetry slam. I considered the idea that maybe the best way to honor poetry IS by digging. By asking questions of those creating the work that so much of us take in and allow to become part of us. With that in mind, I dedicated myself to this project. Here I will post a daily ten question interview conducted with 30 poets over the month of April. I’m not giving up the idea of writing, or sharing poems during this month or ANY month. Instead, I’d like to consider this an act of sharing in its purest form. I read an essay by Lester Bangs, a hero of mine, where he talked about how punk rock was going to die off because of the unwillingness of the people making and consuming it to share parts of themselves that made them more human or shined a light on what they did, and why they did it. What I find I love about poets is how open they are, how willing they are to allow for this coming to the table. It plays a small part in what keeps the art thriving, New York Times articles be damned. So, I’m glad to do this for April, and hope it sparks the kind of conversation that keeps us full all year. And I hope you’ll join me.




Hanif Abdurraqib


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