Poetry Unbound
Poetry Unbound
Apr 26, 2021
Hanif Abdurraqib — When We Were 13, Jeff’s Father Left The Needle Down On A Journey Record Before Leaving The House One Morning And Never Coming Back
Play • 17 min

Music works a kind of poetry in us. This poem is like a mix-tape of Hanif Abdurraqib’s memories, complete with a soundtrack that’s as roaring as it is tender. An adult now, he remembers moments of grief and growth in the adults of his childhood, and how Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” opens up more than just those memories. In a poem that you can almost dance along with, Hanif  wraps other people’s griefs — and his own — into language that uplifts.

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His books include A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, and A Fortune for your Disaster.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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