At ZORA, Christina M. Tapper interviews legendary poet Nikki Giovanni, who “continues to give us words that hum and humanize and a hope that breathes new life into our imaginations” with her new collection, Make Me Rain. Their wide-ranging conversation covers politics, love poems, Toni Morrison, and evening rituals, plus Giovanni’s preferred author bio, which skips the accolades and tells the story of a child falling in love with words. “After a while, you get tired of hearing people make references to insignificant things. I’m not knocking it because the awards and things are nice,” she says. “But I like the idea of people recognizing, well, there was a little girl. And I’m not the only little girl who looked out the window and daydreamed. I wanted to share that. By doing that, I’m able to open up doors for young women who are not sure about how they want to view themselves or how they want people to view them.”
US Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Geata and her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlaic Snell, showed that, indeed, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is dead. The couple shared a kiss in the Navy tradition: winning a raffle for the first kiss on the pier after a ship returns from sea.
In Zadie Smith’s introduction to the Writers Bloc series, she writes that the program sought essays “that were not only pious, charitable or analytical but also readable, engaging, exciting.” The essays published by Guernica certainly meet this criteria. I particularly recommend Aleksandar Hemon’s essay on first graders in Bosnia and Herzegovina.