Episode 07

John Keene

In this week’s episode,  I am delighted to bring you my lively and engaging interview with the poet and novelist, John Keene. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss his early artistic pursuits, encouraged by his parents, towards drawing, visual art, and writing, the writers who mentored him, and his long-standing fascination with African diasporic history. Moreover, he gives us a particularly in-depth look into his inspirations, experiences, and craftsmanship as a novelist and poet who is engaged with experimental forms. John earned his B.A. at Harvard University and an MFA from New York University. As a long-time member the Dark Room Writers Collective, he cherishes the “electric atmosphere” and the connections made with the individuals of this group to this day. John Keene’s work includes his poetry book Seismosis, with drawings by Christopher Stackhouse,  and his experimental novels Annotations and Counternarratives. John Keene, a professor at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New York Times Foundation, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. You can find is work through major booksellers and you can find him blogging on-line: at http://jstheater.blogspot.com/.


Noteworthy Poets and Authors from the Past and Present

Ishmael Reed

Allen Ginsberg

Terry McMillan

Alice Walker

Clarence Major

Samuel R. Delaney

Delores Kendrick

Elizabeth Alexander

Martin Espada

Derek Walcott

John Edgar Wideman

Kevin Powell

Marilyn Hacker

Mae Henderson

Kenzaburo Oe

Yasunari Kawabata

Paule Marshall

Richard Bruce Nugent

Langston Hughes


Inspired by

Lucy Terry Prince

Phillis Wheatley

Paule Marshall

Ishmael Reed

Kamau Brathwaite

Michael S. Harper

Rita Dove

Jay Wright

Theodore Wilson Harris

Amiri Baraka

Sonia Sanchez

Russell Atkins

Norman Pritchard

Gwendolyn Brooks

Wole Soyinka


Pay It Forward

Kerry James Marshall: Mastery


Resource you rely on

New York Public Library


Here at CBC, we love to support our featured artists. Support John Keene by ordering his books online or in-person at your local bookstore. As for social media, you can support him by following his blog.