In inspired and incisive writing the contributors to WE ARE MEANT TO RISE speak unvarnished truths not only to the original and pernicious racism threaded through the American experience but also to the deeply personal. This episode features Carolyn Holbrook, David Mura, Douglas Kearney, Melissa Olson, Said Shaiye, and Kao Kalia Yang. It is a recording from a live event at Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul, MN, on November 29, 2021.
Carolyn Holbrook is founder and director of More Than a Single Story, as well as founder of SASE: The Write Place. She is a writer, educator, and an advocate for the healing power of the arts.
David Mura has written ten books, including the memoirs Turning Japanese (a New York Times Notable Book) and Where the Body Meets Memory. He teaches at VONA, a writers' conference for writers of color, and has worked with Alexs Pate's Innocent Classroom.
Douglas Kearney has published seven collections, including Sho; the award-winning Buck Studies; and a collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues. He teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota.
Melissa Olson is an Indigenous person of mixed Anishinaabe and Euro-American heritage, a tribal citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Melissa has worked as a writer and producer of independent public media at KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio in Minneapolis.
Said Shaiye is a Somali writer working on his MFA degree at the University of Minnesota. He is author of Are You Borg Now?
Kao Kalia Yang is an award-winning Hmong American writer for both children and adults. She is the Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence in the creative writing program of the University of Minnesota.
Show note: At 43:11, a minor sound glitch occurs during a reading; the full text reads: “‘Fuck-12’ in a ragged handwriting was tagged everywhere, and Black and Brown youths zipped around on their bikes observing people wandering around in shock and disbelief.”
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