This category contains 10 posts

Interview with Dope Reads Blog

This conversation originally appeared on the Dope Reads Blog – DopeReads: Tell me about how you got involved in the Folio Literary Journal. Abdul Ali: I was assigned to the literary journal as a part of my fellowship for my graduate program at American University. But I’ve been interested in literary publications for some time … Continue reading


Conversation with Lalah Hathaway

The performer, the daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway, dishes about returning to Washington, her eclectic sound, and what it’s like living with her father’s ghost. Grammy-nominated performing artist Lalah Hathaway possesses a rare versatility, fusing pop, funk, jazz, blues, and R&B in her classically trained sound. But it’s perhaps not surprising considering her pedigree—her father is … Continue reading

Abdul Ali interviews Playwright Marcus Gardley

At the young age of 32, playwright Marcus Gardley has racked up several awards for his plays and is already drawing comparisons to the legendary August Wilson. A sought-after playwright in the regional theater circuit, the Oakland, Calif., native was named one of Dramatists magazine’s 50 playwrights to watch. Gardley’s latest foray onto the regional … Continue reading

Interview with Kimberly Elise

Kimberly Elise is an acclaimed actress who has stolen the hearts of many filmgoers since her debut in 1996 in the film Set it Off. Ms. Elise portrays Crystal in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, an adaptation the iconic play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. … Continue reading

Remember Maya Angelou before Celebrity?

I came across this interview with Maya Angelou from the 1980s, and it occurred to me that this is the woman whose voice and words I fell in love with. I read her autobiographies and world literally opened up to me. I don’t hear this person speak when I see her interviewed these days. Granted, she’s … Continue reading

A Conversation With Randall Horton

In the lingua franca of ninth street, the reader encounters a barrage of pathologies threatening the District’s residents such as death, drug addiction, and hopelessness. How did you emerge a prodigal son—if you will allow me to read this as autobiographical—there’s a running suit of poems titled “notes from a prodigal son”? The poems titled “Notes … Continue reading

Interview with Tara Betts

How did you come up with the title? What does Arc & Hue mean? The title, Arc & Hue, is culled from a poem in the first section about a little boy and I drawing on the sidewalks outside my mother’s house in Kankakee, IL. I kept thinking of how, as adults, we try to … Continue reading

Discovering Literary Black Britain

It all started with a postcard: “Think you know British Lit? Think Again” so read a  black-and-white photograph of a pensive bespectacled young man. A private conversation began with that picture. What do I really know about British Literature? And where is the black voice(s) in that narrative? When Courttia Newland (www.courttianewland.com) was invited to … Continue reading

Poet Alan King Exposed

  Q:  Where do you see yourself in the larger scheme of African American poetics and Contemporary American Poetry?   I see myself as up and coming. Following a long line of those following a legacy laid before them. The larger scheme of African American poetics, for me, is the landscape I tread within. It’s … Continue reading

Ethelbert Interviews Abdul Ali

Abdul Ali is a young talented poet who just might be another Langston learning why DC can be so blue. What happens when a black man walks these streets? What happens when he misses the bus to the subway?  Abdul Ali is writing poems that map the space he finds himself in. This is the … Continue reading