Montana Public Radio

Imagining Generous, Black Futures With Hanif Abdurraqib

Apr 16, 2021

How and when do you divest yourself from an artist? What does it mean that we were all born under a different moon? This week, join host Lauren Korn and poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib in a conversation about his 2021 must-read, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance.

From the multitude of miracles, magic, and wonder found in everyday moments to choosing to see and understand the world through lenses of generosity and gratitude, theirs is an energetic and uplifting back and forth.

About Hanif:

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in PEN American, MuzzleVinyl, and other journals, and his essays and criticism have been published in The New YorkerPitchforkThe New York Times, and Fader. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer book award and nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us was named a book of the year by NPR, EsquireBuzzFeed, O: The Oprah MagazinePitchfork and Chicago Tribune, among others. Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award and Kirkus Prize finalist and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune for Your Disaster, won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is a graduate of Beechcroft High School.

Hanif Abdurraqib recommends:

All Heathens by Marianne Chan (Sarabande Books),
especially “In Defense of Karaoke
Inheritance by Taylor Johnson (Alice James Books)
The Age of Phyllis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (Wesleyan University Press)
OLIO by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)
maybe i will see you at the end of the world by Sydney Sprague (Rude Records)
Crime and Punishment by Regional Justice Center (Closed Casket Activities)
Driver by Adult Mom (Epitaph Records)
End of the Earth Mavi (New York Lab)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press), 
A Fortune for Your Disaster (Tin House Books), and They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio) by Hanif Abdurraqib
The Mothers and The Vanishing Half (Riverhead Books) by Brit Bennett
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong (One World)
Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve L. Ewing (University of Chicago Press)
Object of Sound, a podcast hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib (Sonos Sound System)
Designer by Aldous Harding (4AD)
Reward by Cate le Bon (Mexican Summer)
The Delta Sweete by Bobbie Gentry (Capitol Records)