Articles - June 2020

Find me the rage (PoemTalk #149)

Kamau Brathwaite, 'Negus'

Kamau Brathwaite in the early 1990s. Credit: New York University archive.


Al Filreis convened a conversation with Amber Rose Johnson, Jacob Edmond, and Huda Fakhreddine about Kamau Brathwaite’s “Negus.” The poem was included in the book Islands, published by Oxford in 1969. “Negus” appears as part six of a section of the book titled “Rebellion” within Islands, and Islands, in turn, is part two of The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy, which includes Rights of Passage and Masks as the first and third volumes. Brathwaite’s PennSound page — which has been curated by one of our PoemTalkers, Jacob Edmond — features just one recording of Brathwaite performing this poem. On May 1, 2004, in his Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, the poet chose to read “Negus” as a kind of prefatory piece to the whole forty-three-minute reading. It certainly seems to introduce several of Brathwaites major concerns.

Episode 6: Bernadette Mayer

Bernadette Mayer smiling at the camera with her hair in braids
Photo of Bernadette Mayer courtesy of Walker Art Center.


Bernadette Mayer, whose poetry is included in the Rail Park, is the author of over thirty books, including Midwinter DayThe Golden Book of Words, UtopiaStudying Hunger, and Sonnets, to name just a few. Her most recent book is Work and Days.

Episode 5: Brent Wahl

Photo of Brent Wahl with ladders and color block wall art behind him


Brent Wahl is a visual artist. In the summer of 2018, he completed a major public artwork for the Philadelphia Rail Park. Wahl’s photography, installation, and time-based work has been exhibited in a variety of venues and institutions in the US and Europe.

Episode 4: Sarah Riggs

Photo of Sarah Riggs by Omar Berrada.


Sarah Riggs is a writer, artist, filmmaker and translator. She has published poetry books with 1913 Press, Burning Deck, Reality Street, Ugly Duckling Presse, Chax, and more. Riggs’s second Chax book, Eavesdrop, is just out, and The Nerve Epistle, a book of letter poems, comes out with Roof Books in 2021.

Episode 3: Erín Moure

Photo of Erín Moure by Karis Shearer.


Erín Moure has published eighteen books of poetry, a coauthored book of poetry, a volume of essays, a book of short articles on translation, a biopoetics (alongside the biopoetics of Chus Pato), and two memoirs. She is translator or cotranslator of nineteen books of poetry and two books of creative nonfiction (biopoetics) from French, Galician, Portunhol, Portuguese, Spanish, and Ukrainian, by poets such as Nicole Brossard, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato, Fernando Pessoa, and many others.