S8E5 KB Brookins & Maneo Mohale: Dreaming of Freedom & Centring Trans Joy

13 Jul 2023
S8E5 KB Brookins & Maneo Mohale: Dreaming of Freedom & Centring Trans Joy

Image credits: Maneo Mohale by Andile Buka and KB Brookins by Diana Driver

KB Brookins talks with Maneo Mohale about their poetry collection Freedom House. They contemplate poetry, social justice, community, police brutality, Blackness and transness as well as hope.

They both read poems from Freedom House. Maneo reads “Black Life circa 2029” and “T Shot #1” and KB reads “He/they in the streets, them/them in the sheets” and “T Shot #5: Ode to my Sharps Container”.

Maneo Mohale is a South African editor, feminist writer and poet. They have been long-listed twice for the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Award, and their debut collection of poetry, Everything is a Deathly Flower was published by uHlanga in September 2019. The collection was shortlisted for the Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize, later winning the 2020 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. They currently serve as a research associate with the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class at the University of Johannesburg. 

KB Brookins is a Black, queer, and trans writer, cultural worker and artist from Texas. They are the author of How to Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press 2022), winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature, and Freedom House (Deep Vellum 2023), which has been recommended by Vogue among others. KB’s writing is published in Poets.org, HuffPost, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. They are currently a National Endowment of the Arts fellow. KB’s debut memoir Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf) releases in 2024. 

In this episode we are in solidarity with Cuban journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca. We call for his freedom. You can read more about his case here. As tributes to him, KB reads “To the Young Who Want to Die” by Gwendolyn Brooks and Maneo reads “Love, Again” by Sarah Lubala.

Listen to the episode here: