Get Lit Minute

Get Lit - Words Ignite

A weekly podcast focusing on all things poetic, poetry and poets. Each week we will feature a poet and their poem. We will be highlighting classic poets from our In-School Anthology, sharing brief bios on the poet and a spoken word reading of one of their poems. We will also be introducing contemporary poets from the greater poetry community and our own Get Lit poets into the podcast space. read less
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Episodes

W.E.B. Du Bois | "The Song of the Smoke"
4d ago
W.E.B. Du Bois | "The Song of the Smoke"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, W.E.B. Du Bois. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an American sociologist, civil rights activist, and historian. Throughout his career, Du Bois was a founder and editor of many groundbreaking civil rights organizations and literary publications, such as The Niagara Movement and its Moon Illustrated Weekly and The Horizon periodicals, as well as the hugely influential National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its monthly magazine The Crisis. An adamant socialist and peace activist, his writing for these journals was pointedly anti-capitalist, anti-war, and pro-women’s suffrage, on top of his core pursuit of the dismantling of systemic racism and discrimination. Possessing a large and hugely influential body of work, Du Bois is perhaps most notably the writer of the authoritative essay collection The Souls of Black Folks (1903) and his monumental work Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 (1935). Du Bois never stopped fighting for and evolving his beliefs, joining the Community Party at the age of 93. This episode includes a reading by Austin Antoine of Du Bois' poem, “The Song of Smoke”  featured in our 2023 Get Lit Anthology.“The Song of Smoke”I am the Smoke KingI am black!I am swinging in the sky,I am wringing worlds awry;I am the thought of the throbbing mills,I am the soul of the soul-toil kills,Wraith of the ripple of trading rills;Up I’m curling from the sod,I am whirling home to God;I am the Smoke KingI am black. I am the Smoke King,I am black!I am wreathing broken hearts,I am sheathing love’s light darts;Inspiration of iron timesWedding the toil of toiling climes,Shedding the blood of bloodless crimes—Lurid lowering ’mid the blue,Torrid towering toward the true,I am the Smoke King,I am black. I am the Smoke King,I am black!I am darkening with song,I am hearkening to wrong!I will be black as blackness can—The blacker the mantle, the mightier the man!For blackness was ancient ere whiteness began.I am daubing God in night,I am swabbing Hell in white:I am the Smoke KingI am black. I am the Smoke KingI am black!I am cursing ruddy morn,I am hearsing hearts unborn:Souls unto me are as stars in a night,I whiten my black men—I blacken my white!What’s the hue of a hide to a man in his might?Hail! great, gritty, grimy hands—Sweet Christ, pity toiling lands!I am the Smoke KingI am black.Support the showSupport the show
Angélica Maria Aguilera | "The Star Spanglish Banner"
Oct 7 2023
Angélica Maria Aguilera | "The Star Spanglish Banner"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of international touring Chicana poet and teaching artist, Angélica María Aguilera. She comes from a mixed family of immigrants and uses spoken word to rewrite the narrative of what it means to be Mexican, woman, and American. Her work has appeared in publications such as Button Poetry, the Breakbeat Poets Anthology LatiNext among others. Aguilera is the author of "Dolorosa" on Pizza Pie Press and "America As She." SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “A Star Spanglish Banner”  featured in our 2022/23 Get Lit Anthology."A Star Spanglish Banner"Oh say can you seeMiguel wants to learn the Star-Spangled Banner.Miguel was the last fourth grader to migrate into my English as a second language course,and is the first to raise his hand for every question.But Miguel views letters in a different way than most.Because there are a lot of words in Spanishthat do not exist in English,he learns how to pack them in a suitcase and forget.Because many phrases translate backwardswhen crossing over from Spanish to English,throughout the whole song, he tends to say things in the wrong order.So when I ask him to sing the second verse,it sounds likeAnd the rocket's red glareWe watched our homeBursting in airIt gave proof to the nightthat the flag was still theirsThey say music is deeply intertwined with how we remember.Miguel hears the marimba and learns the word home,hears his mother's accent being mocked and learns the words shame,hears his mother's weeping and learns the word sacrifice.He asks, what does the word America mean?What does the word dream mean?I say two words with the same meaning are what we call synonyms.You could say America is a dream,something we all feel silly for believing in.He says, teach me.Teach me how to say bandera.Teach me how to say star.Teach me how to hide my country behind the consonantsthat do not get pronounced.Miss Angelica,teach the letters to just flee from my lips like my parents,and build a word out of nothing.In my tongue, we do not pronounce the letter H.Home is not a sound my voice knows how to make.It's strange what our memories hold on to.It's strange what makes it over the borderto the left side of the brain,what our minds do not let us forget,how an accent is just a mother tonguethat refuses to let her child go. The language barrier is a 74 mile walllodged in the back of Miguel's throat,the bodies of words so easily lost in the translation.Oh, say for whom does that star-spangled banner yet waveGive back the land to the braveand let us make a home for us free.Support the showSupport the show
Rigoberto Gonzalez | "Birthright"
Sep 18 2023
Rigoberto Gonzalez | "Birthright"
In this episode of Get Lit Minute, we spotlight the accomplished writer and poet, Rigoberto González. Rigoberto González was born in Bakersfield, California and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. He earned a BA from the University of California, Riverside and graduate degrees from University of California, Davis and Arizona State University. He is the author of several poetry books, including The Book of Ruin (2019); Unpeopled Eden (2013), winner of a Lambda Literary Award; and So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks (1999), a National Poetry Series selection. He has also written two bilingual children’s books, Antonio’s Card (2005) and Soledad Sigh-Sighs (2003); the novel Crossing Vines (2003), winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award; a memoir, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (2006), which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; and the book of stories Men without Bliss (2008). He has also written for The National Book Critics Circle's blog, Critical Mass; and the Poetry Foundation's blog Harriet. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle, and the PEN/Voelcker Award, González writes a Latino book column for the El Paso Times of Texas. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers, on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and on the Advisory Circle of Con Tinta, a collective of Chicano/Latino activist writers.  González is a professor of English and director of the MFA Program in creative writing at Rutgers University–Newark. He lives in New York City. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, “Birthright”  featured in our 2022/23 Get Lit Anthology."Birthright"in the villageof your birthcuts a wallbleeds a border in the heatyou cannot swimin the rainyou cannot climb in the northyou cannot becuts a papercuts a law cuts a fingerfinger bleedsbaby hungersbaby feeds baby needsyou cannot goyou cannot buyyou cannot bring baby growsbaby knowsbordercrossingseasons bring winter bordersummer borderfalls a borderborder springSupport the showSupport the show
Marty McConnell | “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”
Mar 27 2023
Marty McConnell | “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Marty McConnell. Her second poetry collection, "when they say you can't go home again, what they mean is you were never there," won the 2017 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in 2018 on Southern Indiana University Press. Her first nonfiction book, “Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop,” was recently published by YesYes Books. She is the co-creator and co-editor of underbelly, a web site focused on the art and magic of poetry revision. She is also the author of wine for a shotgun, (EM Press). In 2009, she launched Vox Ferus, an organization dedicated to empowering and energizing individuals and communities through the written and spoken word. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”  featured in our Get Lit Anthology.“Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”leaving is not enough; you muststay gone. train your heartlike a dog. change the lockseven on the house he’s nevervisited. you lucky, lucky girl.you have an apartmentjust your size. a bathtubfull of tea. a heart the sizeof Arizona, but not nearlyso arid. don’t wish awayyour cracked past, yourcrooked toes, your problemsare papier mache puppetsyou made or bought because the vendorat the market was so compelling you justhad to have them. you had to have him.and you did. and now you pull downthe bridge between your houses,you make him call beforehe visits, you take a loverfor granted, you takea lover who looks at youlike maybe you are magic. makethe first bottle you consumein this place a relic. place iton whatever altar you fashionwith a knife and five cranberries.don’t lose too much weight.stupid girls are always tryingto disappear as revenge. and youare not stupid. you loved a manwith more hands than a paradeof beggars, and here you stand. heartlike a four poster bed. heart like a canvas.heart leaking something so strongthey can smell it in the street.Support the showSupport the show
Sally Wen Mao | "The Belladonna of Sadness"
Mar 13 2023
Sally Wen Mao | "The Belladonna of Sadness"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of Asian American poet, Sally Wen Mao.  She is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Kingdom of Surfaces (Graywolf Press, 2023), and the debut fiction collection Ninetails (Penguin Books). She is also the author of two previous poetry collections, Oculus (Graywolf Press, 2019), and Mad Honey Symposium  (Alice James Books, 2014). SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "The Belladonna of Sadness."  check out more poems by her featured in our Get Lit Anthology."The Belladonna of Sadness"Spring in Hell and everything’s blooming.I dreamt the worst was over but it wasn’t.Suppose my punishment was fields of lilies sharper than razors, cutting up fields of lies.Suppose my punishment was purity, mined and blanched.They shunned me only because I knew I was stunning.Then the white plague came, and their pleas were like a river.Summer was orgiastic healing, snails snaking around wrists.In heat, garbage festooned the sidewalks.Old men leered at bodies they couldn’t touchuntil they did. I shouldn’t have laughed but I laughedat their flesh dozing into their spines, their bones crunching like snow.Once I was swollen and snowblind with grief, left for deadat the castle door. Then I robbed the castle and kissed my captor,my sadness, learned she was not a villain. To wake up in this verdant field,to watch the lilies flay the lambs. To enter paradise,a woman drinks a vial of amnesia. Found in only the palestflowers, the ones that smell like rotten meat. To summon the stinkyflower and access its truest aroma, you have to let its stigma show.You have to let the pollen sting your eyes until you close them.Support the showSupport the show
Melissa Lozada-Oliva | "The Women in My Family Are Bitches"
Mar 6 2023
Melissa Lozada-Oliva | "The Women in My Family Are Bitches"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of Guatelombian (Guatemalan-Colombian) American poet and screenwriter, Melissa Lozada-Oliva. Her book peluda (Button Poetry 2017) explores the intersections of Latina identity, feminism, hair removal & what it means to belong. Her novel-in-verse Dreaming of You is about bringing Selena back to life through a seance & the disastrous consequences that follow & it’s coming out October 2021 on Astra House. She is the co-host of podcast Say More with Olivia Gatwood where they dissect the world through a poetic lens. Lozada-Olivia is currently working on a pilot about a haunted book store. She is interested in horror because she’s scared of everything. Lozada-Olivia likes when things are little funny so that she has space to be a little sad. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in REMEZCLA, PAPER, The Guardian, BreakBeat Poets, Kenyon Review, Vulture, Bustle, Glamour Magazine, The Huffington Post, Muzzle Magazine, The Adroit Journal, and BBC Mundo! SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "The Women in My Family Are Bitches,"  featured in our Get Lit Anthology."The Women in My Family Are Bitches" cranky! bitchesstuck up! bitchescustomer service turned sour! bitches.can i help you? bitchesnext in line! bitchesi like this purse 'cause it makes me look mean bitchescan you take a picture of my outfit? full length!get the shoes in! bitchesi always wear heels to la fiesta! and i never take them off! bitchesall men will kill you! bitchesall men will leave you anyway! bitchesyou better text me when you get home okay! bitchespray before the plane takes off! bitchespray before the baby comes! bitchesshe has my eyes my big mouth, my fight! bitchessing to the scabs on her knees when she falls down! bitchesgive abuelita bendiciones! bitchesit's okay not to be liked! bitcheson our own til infinity! bitchesthe vengeful violentpissed prissed and polishedlipstick stained on an envelope,i'll be damned if i'm compliant! bitchesthe what did you call us? what did you say to us? what's that kind of love called again?bitches!Support the showSupport the show
Camonghe Felix | "Thank God I Can't Drive"
Feb 21 2023
Camonghe Felix | "Thank God I Can't Drive"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Camonghe Felix. She is the author of Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books, 2019), which was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. The 2013 winner of the Cora Craig Award for Young Women, Felix has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Poets House. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Thank God I Can't Drive,"  featured in our 2021/23 Get Lit Anthology."Thank God I Can't Drive"My brain is trying so hard to outrun this. It is doing more work than the lie.I could go to jail for anything. I look like that kind of girl. I only speak one language. I amof prestige but can’t really prove it. Not if my hands are tied. Not if my smartphone isseized. Not if you can’t google me. Without an archive of human bragging rights, I’m[   ] nobody, an empty bag, two-toned luggage. I’m not trying to be sanctimonious,I just found out that I’m afraid to die, like, there goes years of posturing about, beating itlike I own it, taking it to the bathroom with the tampons—like, look at me, I am so agentand with all this agency I can just deploy death at any time. The truth isthat I’m already on the clock, I’m just a few notches down on the “black-girl-with-badmouth” list, the street lights go out and I’m just at the mercy of my own bravery andtheir punts of powerlessness, their “who the hell do you think you are’s?”Support the showSupport the show
Tato Laviera | "my graduation speech"
Feb 6 2023
Tato Laviera | "my graduation speech"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of Nuyorican poet, Tato Laviera. Shifting between English and Spanish in his poetry, Laviera addresses themes of immigration, history, and transcultural identity. Laviera was the author of several collections of poetry, including La Carreta Made a U-Turn (1979), AmeRícan (1985), Mainstream Ethics (Etica corriente) (1988), and Mixturao and Other Poems (2008). He also wrote more than a dozen plays, including King of Cans, which premiered in 2012 at New York’s Red Carpet Theater. Laviera lived in New York, and dealt with diabetes and blindness until his death in 2013. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, "my graduation speech," featured in our 2022/23 Get Lit Anthology."my graduation speech"i think in Spanishi write in Englishi want to go back to puerto rico,but i wonder if my kink could livein ponce, mayagüez and carolinatengo las venas aculturadasescribo en spanglishabraham in españolabraham in englishtato in spanish"taro" in englishtonto in both languageshow are you?¿cómo estás?i don't know if i'm comingor si me fui yasi me dicen barranquitas, yo reply,"¿con qué se come eso?"si me dicen caviar, i digo,"a new pair of converse sneakers."ahí supe que estoy jodíoahí supe que estamos jodíosenglish or spanishspanish or englishspanenglishnow, dig this:hablo lo inglés mataohablo lo español mataono sé leer ninguno bienso it is, spanglish to mataowhat i digo               ¡ay, virgen, yo no sé hablar!Support the showSupport the show
Nate Marshall | "Out South"
Jan 30 2023
Nate Marshall | "Out South"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Nate Marshall. He is an award-winning writer, editor, educator, and MC. His most recent book, Finna, was recognized as one of the best books of 2020 by NPR and The New York Public Library. He was also an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Marshall co-wrote the play No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks with Eve Ewing. He also wrote the audio drama Bruh Rabbit & The Fantastic Telling of Remington Ellis, Esq. Marshall records hip-hop as a solo artist and with the group Daily Lyrical Product. He co-wrote Chicago Public School's first literary arts curriculum and develops lesson plans using creative writing to help participants discuss social justice, mental health, community development, and other issues. Nate loves his family, friends, Black people, dope art, literature, history, comedy, arguing about top 5 lists, and beating you in spades. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, "Out South," a response to the last two lines of Robert Frost's "Out, Out.""Out South"… And they, since theywere not the one dead, turned to their affairs.— Robert Frost, “Out, Out”In Chicago, kids are beaten. they crackopen. they're pavement. they don't fight, they die.bodies bruised blue with wood. cameras catchus killing, capture danger to broadcaston Broadways. we Roseland stars, made playersfor the press. apes caged from 1st grade until.shake us. we make terrible tambourines.packed into class, kids passed like kidney stones.each street day is unanswered prayer for peace,news gushes from Mom's mouth like schoolboy blood.Ragtown crime don't stop, only waves—hello.crime waves break no surface on news—goodbye.every kid that's killed is one less free lunch,a fiscal coup. welcome to where we from.Support the showSupport the show
Wang Ping | "Things We Carry On The Sea"
Jan 23 2023
Wang Ping | "Things We Carry On The Sea"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Wang Ping. She is poet, writer, photographer, performance and multimedia artist. Her publications have been translated into multiple languages and include poetry, short stories, novels, cultural studies, and children's stories. Her multimedia exhibitions address global themes of industrialization, the environment, interdependency, and the people. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Things We Carry On The Sea.""Things We Carry On The Sea" We carry tears in our eyes: good-bye father, good-bye motherWe carry soil in small bags: may home never fade in our heartsWe carry names, stories, memories of our villages, fields, boatsWe carry scars from proxy wars of greedWe carry carnage of mining, droughts, floods, genocidesWe carry dust of our families and neighbors incinerated in mushroom cloudsWe carry our islands sinking under the seaWe carry our hands, feet, bones, hearts and best minds for a new lifeWe carry diplomas: medicine, engineer, nurse, education, math, poetry, even if they mean nothing to the other shoreWe carry railroads, plantations, laundromats, bodegas, taco trucks, farms, factories, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, temples…built on our ancestors’ backsWe carry old homes along the spine, new dreams in our chestsWe carry yesterday, today and tomorrowWe’re orphans of the wars forced upon usWe’re refugees of the sea rising from industrial wastesAnd we carry our mother tongues爱(ai),حب  (hubb), ליבע (libe), amor, love平安 (ping’an), سلام ( salaam), shalom, paz, peace希望 (xi’wang), أمل (’amal), hofenung, esperanza, hope, hope, hopeAs we drift…in our rubber boats…from shore…to shore…to shore…Support the showSupport the show