10 episodes

Featuring live readings, interviews, and profiles on artists in the Jack Straw Writers Program

Jack Straw SoundPages Jack Straw SoundPages

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 3 Ratings

Featuring live readings, interviews, and profiles on artists in the Jack Straw Writers Program

    Mabuhay – Troy Osaki

    Mabuhay – Troy Osaki

    Troy Osaki’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program is a chapbook manuscript of poems that he began writing after visiting the Philippines for the first time in 2017. In his conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss poetry’s ability to create social change, his history with Youth Speaks, and cultural and familial connections. “I really learned that not only is . . . writing a way to get through the complicated things in life and to process, but it really, truly has the power to go beyond that and imagine new ways and what’s possible.”
    Troy is a Filipino Japanese poet, community organizer, and attorney from Seattle, WA. A three-time grand slam poetry champion, he has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Jack Straw Cultural Center and is the recipient of an Artist Trust award. His work has appeared in the Bellingham Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Moss: A Journal of the Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 23 min
    Iktome – Jose Trejo-Maya

    Iktome – Jose Trejo-Maya

    2020 Jack Straw writer Jose Trejo-Maya’s project is an extract of his poetry that is intended for a three-dimensional museum exhibit based on the Tonalpohualli, a Mesoamerican conception of time. In his conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss his organic writing process, his connection to the immigrant experience, and listening to the voices of his ancestors. “It just comes to me from what I know and the experience I have — it’s the people, the elders that have been with me. So, they tell me . . . to speak when you’re spoken to. And it’s just a refraction of where I come from, like the people before me. And I think it is my duty to not to let that the language die. Even now, keep it alive.”
    Jose is a remnant of the Nahuatlacah oral tradition -a tonalpouhque mexica from the lowlands of a time and place that no longer exists. Published in UK, US, India, Spain, Australia, Argentina, Germany, and Venezuela. He is from Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, where he lived in the small rural pueblo of Tarimoró. His inspiration(s) include Netzahualcoyotl, Humberto Ak’abal, Ray A. Young Bear, and James Welch. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015 and was awarded Tercer Premio from El Centro Canario Estudios Caribeños – El Atlántico – en el Certamen Internacional de Poesía “La calle que tú me das” 2016. He was a New Rivers Press Many Voices Project 2018 Finalist. While in ceremony with Chololo medicine men in the Tule River Reservation, all this came from a dream written in prophecy.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 20 min
    Exhibits – Arianne True

    Exhibits – Arianne True

    Arianne True’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program is a poetic “museum” that creates a safe space to engage in difficult subjects such as childhood sexual abuse. In her conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss the ritual of writing, engaging with experimental forms, and creating visceral experiences with words. “Through poetry, you can put an experience that you had or are having into someone else’s body and not make them think about it, but you can really help them experience it in a way that is safe and contained, and structured.”
    Arianne is a queer poet and folk artist from Seattle and from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Arianne has taught and mentored with Writers in the Schools (WITS), YouthSpeaks Seattle, and the Richard Hugo House, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She can be found playing banjo with her rats near the edge of the woods.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 21 min
    Uhuru – Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II

    Uhuru – Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II

    2020 Jack Straw writer Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II’s project is a graphic novel titled Uhuru, a pirate adventure story centering Black characters. In his conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss the lack of Black representation in children’s literature, professional wrestling and Archie comics, and creating Black stories that expand beyond a monolithic experience. “One of the big things that really got me into creating my children’s book stories was the fact that every time I would read a story that had a Black protagonist, it always dealt with New York, Harlem, the country, civil rights or slavery. And my mindset was, we can fight dragons and be wizards and warlocks, too.”
    Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II is an author from Seattle, WA. Since 2014, he has self-published three children’s books—The Family Jones and The Eggs of Rex, Why is Jane so Mad?, and Hi Blue Sky—to increase positive representation of children of color in books. In 2016, Jeffrey created the Seattle Urban Book Expo, with the mission of providing a platform for fellow authors of color to showcasing their literary arts in the Pacific Northwest.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 22 min
    Naia – Helen K. Thomas

    Naia – Helen K. Thomas

    2020 Jack Straw writer Helen K. Thomas’s project is a collection of short stories that feature Black girl protagonists from the Pacific Northwest. In her conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss Young Adult fiction and expanding representation of young Black girls in those stories. “To be a part of that and to choose to be a part of that is something that I don’t take lightly and is something that I really, really honor because . . . I see how it’s changing the world. And I see how it’s creating compassion. And I see how it’s really moving the dial forward and moving our culture forward.”
    Helen is from Seattle, WA by way of Lagos, Nigeria. She writes Young Adult fiction that illuminates the interiority of black girls as they navigate joy and pain and love and loss while living in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, she was part of the inaugural Tin House YA Fiction Workshop and is thrilled to be a 2020 Jack Straw Writers Fellow.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 21 min
    A Resurrection – Rob Arnold

    A Resurrection – Rob Arnold

    Rob Arnold’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program is a poetic memoir that tackles the complex legacies of familial trauma. In his conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss cross-genre writing, the distance and connection created by language, and matching linguistic precision with visual expansion. “I started thinking about these things in a much more in-depth way. Every single noun became like a hyperlink, like I could dive in deep into the history. So, I was able to kind of turn my poems from these tiny, little jewels into much more developed pieces.”
    Rob’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, Hyphen, RED INK, Yes Poetry, and The Ocean State Review, among others. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received support from the Somerville Arts Council and Artist Trust. He is a Program Director and Curator of Events at Hugo House.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 24 min

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