Watch Three Recent Whiting Award-Winning Poets Read From Their Work
Layli Long Soldier, Safiya Sinclair, and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs
It’s a testament to the Whiting Awards’s eye for brilliance that many of those honored by the foundation just last year already feel like household names. Last summer, the Whiting Foundation shot short videos of three of these names—Layli Long Soldier, Safiya Sinclair, and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs—reading and discussing their poetry, and we’re pleased to share them with you now. Take in the work and words of these three essential female poets below—and be sure to read their books, too.
Layli Long Soldier reads “Whereas I Tire” from her collection WHEREAS and talks about the circular possibilities of poetry and the importance of “thinking out loud.” WHEREAS was published in March by Graywolf Press.
Safiya Sinclair reads from her poem “Home,” from her collection Cannibal, and discusses feeling cut off from her native Jamaican patois when in the US, “inhabiting a second self . . . speaking in the language of the colonist, the language of oppression.” Cannibal was published in 2016 by University of Nebraska Press.
Latasha N. Nevada Diggs reads “damn right it’s betta than yours,” from her collection TwERK, and discusses music and influence and transformation. “I want you to close the book and think about the possibilities of transformation,” she says, “and the beauty of multiple languages dancing beside each other.” TwERK was published in 2013 by Belladonna*.