The Poetry Gods are here to show you how to not be wack in 2016 & beyond. Interviews and stories about the people behind the poems. You don’t have to love poetry to love the show. Hosted by Aziza Barnes, Jon Sands, and José Olivarez. Artwork by Jess X. Chen.
Our Mission Statement:
We realized many of the poetry podcasts we listened to were wildly dull. Hyper self-serious, self-agrandizing, and totally exclusive to high academic circles. That’s not the way the three of us know or love poetry. It’s also not the way any of our homies and idols dig into this craft. Poets are fucking hilarious. Joyful and absurd, with stories for days. We hear them at the bar, during their banter at the reading. We wanted to hear it in a podcast. So we made one.
Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, Aziza currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry. Her first full length collection i be but i ain’t, from YesYes Books is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize.
José Olivarez is the co-author of the book of poems Home Court and co-host of the poetry podcast: The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Program Director at Urban Word-NYC. A winner of a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellowship and a 2015 Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets, Vinyl Poetry and Prose, Specter Magazine, and Union Station Magazine among other places. He is from Calumet City, IL, and he lives in the Bronx.
Jon Sands is an author know for electric readings. He wrote The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing), and the literary mixtape, The Perfect Mix (2016, Rattapallax Press). His work has been featured in The New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC, and he teaches creative writing for both adults and youth at Bailey House in East Harlem (an HIV/AIDS service center). He is the Program Director of the Dialogue Arts Project, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam. He tours extensively, but lives in Brooklyn.