Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with first time author Brandon Wallace to discuss his debut poetry book “Shadows and Light”. Could this young man be a young Langston Hughes in the making, you be the judge.
SGL Booklovers: Tell us a little about you the person and the writer?
Brandon Wallace: Well, my name is Brandon Wallace and I am Sagicorn-born right on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn. A native of Chicago, I have lived in Indiana and currently reside in Alabama. I have been writing since I was three years old and telling stories since I could talk. I wrote my first novel at 12 and have written everything from plays and novels to poetry and essays and just about every other genre there is. I hold degrees from Huntingdon College and Purdue University and am a student of history, literature, and politics. I am a Barbra Streisand devotee and count among my other influences Angela Davis, W.E.B. Dubois, Lillian Hellman, Alice Walker, Howard Zinn, James Baldwin, and Bell Hooks.
SGL Booklovers: Tell us about your debut book?
Brandon Wallace:My first book is a poetry collection entitled Shadows and Light. This collection reflect the varied aspects of my personality, my thoughts, ideas, and philosophy.
SGL Booklovers:Which poem in the book is your favorite?
Brandon Wallace:While every poem in this collection speak to me in certain ways, this one has particularly stood out to me this morning. I will share it with you here.
Poem For Abbey Lincoln
She walks the night in blue and black satin the spirits whispering softly to her
Don’t you hear the amber and the agony that pour from her mouth with every note she sings? Such wealth is not man made or the by-product of rugged individualism it is the blues call in the night
It is the lassoed harnessed dispossessed secrets of the Universe cast forth like a puff of magic glitter and gold before your very eyes Ask the trees where she came from
Grounded on the earth but walking in the heavens with a reach that can inspire and a voice mellifluous that touches the very heart of humanity
This poem also sticks out to me today. It is a love poem, of sorts
Poem No. XCV
How can I express to you That I want to sleep pressed against your body Feel your heartbeat next to mine let the Tingle and sweat of your skin and the prickle of Your body hair soothe and seduce me into sleep? We don’t need any bridges because together we are already one.
SGL Booklovers:What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
Brandon Wallace:I would like for my readers to take away from this book a taste of what I am about….an appreciation for my writing style and for me as a writer.
SGL Booklovers:What does it feel like to see your writing dream come true?
Brandon Wallace:It is definitely surreal. It is an experience and I am going through it, that is for sure.
SGL Booklovers: How long did it take you to write “Shadow and Lights”?
Brandon Wallace:These poems were written and collected over the course of a decade, beginning with my undergraduate years and ending about a year ago perhaps. It took me about a year to compile this collection into a cohesive form.
SGL Booklovers:Which author/authors have inspired you to write a book?
Brandon Wallace:My literary ancestors include Alice Walker, Bell Hooks (particularly her autobiographical work), James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Lorraine Hansberry, and Langston Hughes.
SGL Booklovers: Will you continue to write poetry or will you write in other genre’s?
Brandon Wallace:I write in multiple genres all the time. When I am not writing short stories or novels, then I write poetry….poetry tends to come in between novels or stories…and when the spirit hits….
SGL Booklovers:What can we expect from you in the future?
Brandon Wallace:I have three completed novels which I am considering publishing as my next offerings.
SGL Booklovers:Thank you for taking the time to do this interview Brandon.
Brandon Wallace:Thank you!
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