Interviewed by: Angela Elam
Catalog Number: 20120817, 20111111
Born Ramon Lofton, the poet and fiction writer took the name “Sapphire” because of its folkloric associations with beautiful, sexually empowered African-American women in literature, but also to challenge perceptions of the sassy archetype. Best-known for her 1996 novel Push, which became the award-winning 2009 film, Precious, Sapphire has also written books of poetry and prose, including American Dreams and Black Wings and Blind Angels: Poems. Sapphire's 2011 novel, The Kid, follows the son of Clarice “Precious” Jones. She reads from the book and discusses why she takes on the gritty subject matter of violence, racism, and poverty, and how language and literacy have been redemptive in her own life and the lives of her characters.
In part one of this conversation, Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, whose numerous books of poetry, essays and stories have delighted children and adults alike, reads her poem "Famous" that was recently turned into picture book and discusses wh...
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