Interviewed by: Angela Elam
Catalog Number: 20120817, 20111111
Born Ramon Lofton, the poet and fiction writer took the name “Sapphire” because of its folkloric associations with beautiful, sexually empowered African-American women in literature, but also to challenge perceptions of the sassy archetype. Best-known for her 1996 novel Push, which became the award-winning 2009 film, Precious, Sapphire has also written books of poetry and prose, including American Dreams and Black Wings and Blind Angels: Poems. Sapphire's 2011 novel, The Kid, follows the son of Clarice “Precious” Jones. She reads from the book and discusses why she takes on the gritty subject matter of violence, racism, and poverty, and how language and literacy have been redemptive in her own life and the lives of her characters.
Poet Susan Aizenberg discusses the use of fiction within poetry, admitting that she draws from real life, but notes that there is a distinction between truth and fact. Recently retired from teaching at Creighton University, she reads from her thir...
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