Sunday, February 5, 2012

Khadijah Queen, On Reading

"Reading is everything: magical, spiritual, practical, easy, difficult, necessary, strange. It's a slog, a transport, an anchor, entertainment and a tool of survival. I learned to read at age three and have loved all of it, my whole life, from Lois Duncan to the Narnia Chronicles as a child – so far away from the gunshot soundtrack of my '80s-in-South-Central-L.A. childhood, yet such relevance, comfort, offer/utterance of possibility; to Stephen King and Alice Walker and Malcolm X as a teenager; to Audre Lorde and Helene Cixous and Lucille Clifton and Fernando Pessoa in college. Recently Craig Thompson's Habibi and Lynn Nottage's Ruined rocked my reading world. And before that, Shahrnush Parsipur's Women Without Men and Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper – (speechless awe). Even books I didn't like (or detested – anything by Heidegger, for example) still activated something in me – if only a fight or flight response. Reading is an endless loop. Books surround and fill me. I have too many. I don't have enough. I write to empty, then turn to reading, to living, fill up again."

Khadijah Queen's most recent book, Black Peculiar, won the 2010 Noemi Press book award for poetry. Visit her website:}

No comments:

Post a Comment