Reuben Jackson Talks New Book, Local Poetry Scene with City Paper
In his recent interview conducted by Hannah Grieco for the Washington City Paper, Reuben ruminates on the difficulties of writing "Scattered Clouds" and on the robust DC poetry scene.
Writer and DC literary citizen, Hannah Grieco, recently sat down with Reuben Jackson and three other DC poets for a conversation as part of an article she was writing on the local poetry scene. The consensus: it thrives. The poets like Reuben Jackson, Seema Reza, and Jose Padua who lead the way for DC poetry write verse that notably sustains both depth and a warm, local approachabilty.
Answering Hannah's question about the exciting local artists that folks in DC should be reading and listening to right now, Reuben runs off a long list of names. We would like to honor these local torchbearers by providing native links to their websites or social media accounts below.
Hannah says: As an artist and teacher known throughout D.C., what local poets and authors in the should we be reading and listening to?
Reuben says: "D.C. is blessed with tons of gifted wordsmiths. I especially love spoken word geniuses Tarica June, Head-Roc, Priest Da Nomad, and poets Alan King, Silvana Straw, Maritza Rivera, Sami Miranda, Kenneth Carroll. I could go on and on.
“Reuben Jackson’s marvelous poems map the poles between ode and lamentation, politics and intimacy, sagacity and audacity. He writes for everyday neighbors, folkloric brothers, and imaginary sisters. He writes for Trayvon Martin as well as Frank Sinatra. He nimbly charts the broad spectrum of our lives and loves. I have admired Reuben Jackson’s work for over twenty years. Scattered Clouds will alert old and new poetry fans to his fine, abiding talent.”
—Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
“Like Lucille Clifton before him, Jackson has a gift for understatement and for writing sly, unadorned poems that can move you in less than a page. These clear-eyed poems offer social witness to the crisis of living in America. They are peopled poems, poems that witness not only injustice, but also genius, beauty, and survival. This long-awaited collection is a gift.”
—Melissa Tuckey, co-founder of Split this Rock, editor of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology