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Quick Temper with Andy Powell


Andy Powell is a Teaching Artist for DreamYard in the Bronx, where he has co-founded the Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium. Andy has writing out or forthcoming with The Paris Review, Winter Tangerine Review, Peach Mag, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, elsewhere, is a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal, and is a 2018 fellow to The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary’s Poetry Incubator.

Here’s Quick Temper with Andy:

Why do you write?

I love the play of writing, the more expansive my self can become in writing, the hope of writing, the surprise of writing, the possibilities of writing, the way you can have a perfect thought or rebuttal on the train after you’ve left a party and can’t say it in conversation but can keep the conversation going in writing, the silliness of writing.

Who do you hope reads your work?

Friends, not yet friends. All the sweet ones. The bitter ones can come too if they want, but I make no promises.

Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?

I feel salty about Connecticut & whiteness & capitalism & especially the way the public school systems in this country have been sabotaged, and this often manifests in salty poems. Though, of course, too much salt can ruin a dish.

Angry book recommendations for angry readers?

I just hit a killer bout of anger in Isabella Hammad’s novel, The Parisian, both deep & surface level anger, and all of the deception & sincerity that built up to it makes it a very interesting anger. A couple of books I have been reading that have a scorch to them, though they are more transformative than angry books, are Rachelle Cruz’s God’s Will for Monsters, Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin, Malika Booker’s Pepper Seed. I hope you’re all there already, but Jericho Brown does a special thing with anger. Start with “The Long Way” in the Adroit Journal, which begins as such: “Your grandfather was a murderer./ I’m glad he’s dead.”

Andy Powell will be reading with An Angry Reading Series on April 13. Come through! 


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