interviews

I interviewed the essayist Nicole Piasecki. We talked about writing, activism, violence, and the shooting that happened at our high school in 1993.

Becca Schuh interviewed me for Electric Literature. This part is really important to me:

I think there’s a single story being told in this country right now about Chicago. I want to be able to contribute to what the city really is, and to give one of many other perspectives on it, and to be able to say, “this place made me, I am here because of its arts organizations and because of its schools and because of its writers and its performers and its young people, and I’m so proud to be counted among them.” I really want to do justice to this place in some kind of a way, if this book can be a little bit of a love letter to Chicago, that means something to me, especially now.

The way you know Chicago through literature is reading about 700 different people from all sorts of corners. I’m reading I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika Sánchez. And two other Chicago writers I love have books coming out this month, Jac Jemc and Lindsay Hunter. You hear so often the idea that Chicago is a flyover city. What people are missing by not stepping into our pages and our streets is something huge and kind of magic.

I contributed to the Dear President feature at Poets & Writers Magazine alongside fifty American writers.

Here is what I said:

Our public education system is in desperate need of resources, specifically in marginalized communities, as well as a more learner-centered, diverse curriculum emphasizing perspectives across race, gender, class, nationality, sexual orientation, ability, and the multiple intersections therein to challenge all of us to be better human beings on this planet. And, Madam President, if I can focus our last few minutes on my beautiful, complicated city: Your support of Rahm Emanuel terrifies me. Thank you for listening. Please, keep listening. To all of us. Not some. All.

Audio is here.