Poet Lyrae Van-Clief Stefanon and scholar Dagmawi Woubshet converse about their work.
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval, a National Book Award finalist, and Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, as well as Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, a chapbook in collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander. Her work has appeared in such journals as African American Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and Shenandoah, and in the anthologies Bum Rush the Page, Role Call, Common Wealth, Gathering Ground, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She is currently at work on a third collection, The Coal Tar Colors.
As a scholar of African American literature and culture, Dagmawi Woubshet works at two pivotal intersections between African American and sexuality studies, and between African American and African studies. These overlapping areas of inquiry inform his scholarship and research, including his book, The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of Aids (Johns Hopkins University Press, Spring 2015). Woubshet is the co-editor of Ethiopia: Literature, Art, and Culture, a special issue of Callaloo. His work has also appeared in Transition, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art South Africa, and African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographies. He is currently working on two new book projects: Here Be Saints: James Baldwin’s Late-Style and New Flower: A Memoir.
In A Word is a new series that showcases the Creative Writing Program’s influences and contributions to the literary world by its dedicated faculty of fiction writers and poets.
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