Could you talk a little about the creative path you’ve taken—were you always interested in the arts?Willis-Abdurraqib
I was in some capacity, yes. Not always writing, but I was often very interested in self-expression. In high school, I was in drama club. I was in plays. I always thought of myself as an artist, even when I wasn’t producing art. I felt like I was capable.
Are there any books or writers that have particularly influenced your writing?Willis-Abdurraqib
Alice Walker / Octavia Butler / Josephine Baker / Khadijah Queen / Eve Ewing / Angel Nafis / Morgan Parker / Nate Marshall / Franny Choi / that’s just this week.
Could you tell us what a typical day looks like for you? Do you have any particular routines or practices?Willis-Abdurraqib
Not particularly. My days are so unpredictable and often all over the place. I do like to go to the gym when I can, just to get some time that is only dedicated to myself and my own desires and the music I love and don’t have to tell people what I think about it.
Would you mind telling us about what you’re working on at the moment?Willis-Abdurraqib
I’ve really just figured out what my second manuscript of poems is doing, so I’m really excited about that. It’s like remembering a language I always knew, but left for a moment.
Are you creatively satisfied or are there things you’d still like to work towards?Willis-Abdurraqib
I’m never really creatively satisfied, even though I’m happy with how I’m trying, most days. Still, there’s always so much more to be done. Onward.
Read more from Issue No. 8 or share on Facebook and Twitter.