EPISODE 29 – MATT SEDILLO, PART II

In our twenty-ninth episode, listeners are treated to the second part of our interview with Matt Sedillo, for which Sedillo reads some poems right out of the pages of the new Mowing Leaves of Grass from Flowersong Press. We also talk about Matt’s writing process over ten years since Arizona’s disgraceful SB 1070 bill, or the ghost of Jim Crow for Brown communities in the Southwest, as well as the city of Los Angeles’s larger connection to Arizona and the Southwest generally as a “battleground” against racist policies; the Occupy Wall street movement versus the work of groups such as Black Lives Matter today, and more is also discussed. A truly one-of-a-kind session for listeners.

J.T.

EPISODE 28 – MATT SEDILLO, PART I

In our twenty-eighth episode, listeners hear part one of a two-part interview with Matt Sedillo, a former National Slam Poet from Los Angeles and author of the new Mowing Leaves of Grass, an anthology of poetry that reads like an indictment of U.S. race relations, critiquing its expansionist ideologies over two-and-a-half centuries as well as the political wasteland of the last four years under Trump. I also ask Matt on his thoughts about the Chicano movement in Los Angeles, Walt Whitman’s role in advocating for the Mexican-American “war,” and special places for him in the city of L.A. A truly fun session for listeners, especially the Spoken Word lovers out there.

J.T.

blossoming branch of tree against blue sky

Tunisia Nelson: Standing in Remembrance of Mary Lee

Standing in remembrance of Mary Lee
I TIP her hat with pride
Red as Bold & Courageous
Strong as she Identified

The true definition of what it means to be…
A Woman after God’s own heart
The pillar of this family
Proverbs 31 in human form

To know her was to love her, if not to envy her kind, subtle ways
She owned SWAG before it was even a thing
She created the Formation, you hope & dream
To be anything like Mary Lee
A conqueror of much

She is a survivor of more than you will ever know
Her faith made it seem as if she towered, despite her petite frame
Cancer couldn’t take her and the devil couldn’t break her

She made a mean peach cobbler!
The kind you are willing to sneak in the kitchen, eat up,
And get a whooping for.

A sacrificer of much
In a pinch she knew just what to do
Head High, Speaking Her mind,

For ALL that, and more, Grandma,
I tip YOUR hat to YOU!

TN

Tunisia Nelson is a writer, born in Los Angeles but raised in Bakersfield, CA and currently residing in Moreno Valley, CA. She is a VONA Alum and has published poems in the Eunoia Review, Iō Literary Journal, and Refractions, an online literary journal. She received a BA in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona, and an MSW from Cal State Long Beach. Tunisia dedicates this poem to her grandmother, one of the most faithful and prayerful women she was blessed to have known, who also made the best peach cobbler, hands down, and who loved her family with every fiber in her. Her memory deserves to live on and this poem is paying her homage, letting her know she is so very missed.