— Hanif Abdurraqib,

author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (Univer­sity of Texas Press, Fe­bru­ary)

Poets and Writers - - The Literary Life -

What has changed you as a writer? I feel charged with rep­re­sent­ing noth­ing in the world as small, noth­ing in the world as mun­dane. I have grown a deeper grat­i­tude for the idea of pro­duc­tion that isn’t en­tirely based on what I put on the page and more on how I honor the mo­ments of liv­ing off the page. All of those things make a re­turn to writ­ing less daunt­ing for me, more full of pos­si­bil­ity. What does a per­fect writ­ing day feel like to you? It doesn’t al­ways in­volve writ­ing. Some­times it’s a trip to the movies in the mid­dle of the day or a run to the mar­ket, where a fa­mil­iar face might pass me, or a walk to the gym, where I see the older dogs who don’t wish for much other than the hand of a passerby to graze over their heads as they slowly and in­dif­fer­ently me­an­der through the grass. All of those things rep­re­sent a type of writ­ing. Who do you turn to when you feel like you’re los­ing faith? I’m find­ing faith in writ­ers who at least at­tempt to en­gage with a com­pli­cated hon­esty. I’m into writ­ers who ask and an­swer with con­fi­dence, fully un­der­stand­ing that none of us re­ally know shit. What do you think of when you find your­self avoid­ing the page? I think of the fact that I come from a peo­ple who at one point were jailed or beaten or killed for the act of writ­ing. That doesn’t al­ways send me sprint­ing back to the page, but it makes clear for me what the stakes are and how priv­i­leged I am. What would you say to the ten-year-old you? Your liv­ing will re­main im­pos­si­ble to be­lieve.

“I be­lieve in writ­ing as one tool to be­gin so­ci­ety’s slow crawl to­ward hon­esty with it­self.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.