Cicada – Jalayna Carter

Jalayna Carter’s poems in the 2018 Jack Straw Writer’s Anthology are both a “report on human behavior” and a “love story to how humans cope.” In her conversation with Daemond Arrindell, they discuss being Southern, legacies, and exploring fear. “It’s great to be someone who people can look up to and say, ‘Oh, that person can handle it. That person is strong. That person is everything that I want to be.’ But it, ultimately, is a disservice to ourselves. I see people who are not able to admit that they are afraid and how that . . . tears apart their lives. I would love for people, black people and people of color who read this book, to know that it’s OK to be afraid.”

Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.