Romeo Oriogun speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his poem “The Sea Dreams of Us,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Romeo talks about his life as a poet in exile from Nigeria, and how that experience of exile appears in his poetry. He also discusses his writing process, the themes he often returns to in his work, and how growing up in Nigeria affects his use of language in poetry.
In conversation, they go by Breezy. When Michael Mercurio and Brionne Janae spoke via Zoom, Breezy was at home in Brooklyn, and Michael was in Northampton, Massachusetts. Though Michael had known Breezy’s work for several years through their publications in Ploughshares, Waxwing, Frontier Poetry Review, The Sun, The Rumpus, and The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, they hadn’t met until they worked together on a program for the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, cohosted by the Faraday Publishing Company and Black Writers Read. Here, they talk about musicality, authenticity, and the importance of bringing voice to what might be left unsaid. (Please note this interview discusses childhood sexual abuse and trauma.)
The Healing Nature of Truth: An Interview with Brionne Janae
Join The Common’s special events team on April 13th at 7:00pm for our 2022 Festival of Debut Authors, an evening devoted to emerging talents! The celebration will highlight poets and prose writers Priyanki Sacheti, Jeremy Michael Clark, Hiten Samtani, Danielle Ola, Carlie Hoffman, and Amalia Gladhart.
Hosted by Ben Shattuck and Sara Elkamel, the festival will feature readings and conversation, and aims to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program.