Freedom Speaks Diaspora was born and raised in Long Island, New York, Freedom Speaks Diaspora is an author, mentor, and poet. She has opened for Def Poetry Jam on Broadway at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, appeared on Robert Townsend’s “Spoken” on The Black Family Channel, performed at “Girls in the Night” during Atlanta’s Black Pride, lectured and performed at dozens of colleges and universities and taught creative writing and publishing courses at College of Coastal Georgia. Diaspora has worked as a freelance writer for The Florida Times-Union’s River City News and River Bend Review, her work has been published in The African Journal of New Poetry, and other fiction has been published under other names. Her debut novel, Manjani, blends Black Studies with Urban Fiction, for a unique style of edu-tainment. Diaspora is alumni of Mercy College in New York, and her academic background is in English and Behavioral Science with a Specialization in Community Health….
I had always been great at creative writing, impressing my English teachers throughout my entire school career. I won awards for it, published in school publications, and wrote dynamic essays. Years later, I would become a full-time poet based on attending readings and enjoying other poets, and wanting to express myself and impact people the way they did. My co-worker and friend, Malikah Hameen, whom I met working at Bank of America’s EquiCredit (sub-prime mortgage division) invited me out to a poetry reading and I got hooked. I fell in love with the work and style of Taalam Acey, Queen Sheba, L.I.F.E., Lizz Straight, Will Da Real One, Heru, Khafra, and so many more. So I wrote some fire poems, recorded them, sold some CDs, wrote two poetry books, and performed everywhere. .. (click here for full interview)
JS: So, what’s your new book about? And I gather you regard bell’s voice as credible because unlike some of these other screaming feminist scribes, Ms. hooks has much more of an Oracle feel about her? I wonder. Who ranks supreme in your upper-echelon list of male scribes?
PNR: Denicio Barbier – the new book – is loosely based on a woman I met in Arizona. I’d gone out there to write my first book, get away from the existential meaninglessness of Detroit, find myself, and eat good Mexican food. For shelter, I took lodge on a Native American reservation for free rent in exchange for a promise of early morning rising to make community coffee, tend to the elders, and herd the sheep until late afternoon. Afterwards, I’d write and explore the vastness of land. Once every two weeks I’d drive into town – a three hour drive – to get supplies, water, and mail letters to the outside world. Also, I would sometimes drive to Ahwataukee for a beer, chicken wings, and the Carvin Jones blues band. That’s where I met Denicio, an attractive sista with a Brooklyn accent, who told me she was from the Hamptons. I didn’t believe her because she didn’t seem polished like that, and she didn’t have educated or sophisticated diction. She was very urban, chic, and more believably situated in the lower class bracket of Brooklyn or Harlem rather than upper-crust Hamptons. I really didn’t care because she had a great figure, nice ass, pretty mouth and a sexy accent. So, over the course of the summer I’d make it a habit of meeting her at that bar, and eventually at her apartment. In short, she was the most dynamic, exotic, and mysterious woman I’ve ever met. So, she is the basis of my story. Later I met more Denicio’s, and I begin to think of women, in terms of the things that connect them. As for my favorite male writers, I’d say James Baldwin, Edgar Poe, Cornel West, Chinua Achebe, Woody Allen, and Capote….(click here to continue)