BEHOLDING BLACK LIFE: A CONVERSATION WITH ROSS GAY, FRANK GURIDY, & DEBORAH PAREDEZ

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Poet Ross Gay sits down with Frank Andre Guridy and Deborah Paredez to discuss poetry, basketball, and beholding Black life. 

Reflecting on the theme of Black survival in his work, Gay recalls,

I had been working on this poem for a long time. I was in this little coffee shop. It was getting late, and it wasn’t coming together. And then I started riffing a little bit. I was trying to describe the physical movement of Dr. J—that reaching so far—and then I’m connecting it to my father crawling, and then I’m connecting it to him swimming. And then I was remembering the way he would swim under water and reach toward us to keep us from falling off his back and us hanging onto him, all this reaching. Really, I was in that coffee shop and it all just flew into my head.

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