Episode #51: Sean Manning, editor of BOUND TO LAST, on Weds. December 1st at 10 am PST

Join Rachelle as she talks with Sean Manning, editor of BOUND TO LAST.
This Wednesday, December 1st at 10 am PST, 1 pm EST

To listen live:

Sean Manning is the author of The Things That Need Doing: A Memoir and editor of the nonfiction anthologies Top of the Order, The Show I’ll Never Forget, Rock and Roll Cage Match and Bound To Last.  He lives in New York.


The Blood-Jet Writing Hour on Harriet: A Blog from The Poetry Foundation

My apologies for the late, late mention of this interview with the fabulous poet, Barbara Jane Reyes about The Blood-Jet Writing Hour, which was featured on The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Blog.

Thanks again, Barbara!

Shout Out: Rachelle Cruz and “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” Radio Show.

Barbara Jane Reyes

Shout Out: Rachelle Cruz and “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” Radio Show

“Poetry is the blood-jet. There is no stopping it.” –Sylvia Plath

I wanted to shout out Rachelle Cruz, whose work I was introduced to a couple of years ago at the San Francisco Litquake’s boisterous Litcrawl, where she read for the API arts org, Kearny Street Workshop. I picked up her chapbook, honey may soon run out, because I was impressed with how concrete, meticulous, and emotionally well-considered her poems and her reading were. She’s a young and energetic poet, a recent PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and I am confident we’ll be seeing all kinds of good work coming from her in years to come. Currently, she is the host of the weekly The Blood-Jet Writing Hour online radio show.

Why a radio show/podcast? What was your way into conducting the live interview?

I met Rafael Alvarado, poet and host of “Moe Green Poetry Discussion” at the Poetry Stage of the Los Angeles Festival of Books in spring 2009. I spent most of the two-day festival meeting writers and listening to the work of poets I admire: Jeffery McDaniel, Sesshu Foster, Barbara Hamby, among others. Rafael, always on the move for new writers to interview, invited me to be a guest on his show. Rafael later offered me a show on the Word Wide Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio, which presented me with the opportunity to speak with writers whose work I’d fallen in love with, in addition to emerging writers, some of whom were friends, others I’d never met and was curious about. “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” was born with Sylvia Plath’s quote in mind: “Poetry is the blood-jet; there is no stopping it.” Although Plath’s life ended prematurely, her work is alive and still beats with this blood. I loved the tension and immediacy that this quote brings forth. For me, poetry is sustainability, allowing this blood-jet to flow and spurt. Other than taking a journalism class in high school, I honestly had no experience in conducting live interviews, so it was mostly trial and error.

Is it important to hear the sound of the poet’s voice? Can this approximate experiencing the live reading?

I think it’s crucial to hear the sound of the poet’s voice. Poetry is the oldest song; an oral tradition. On the show, I’ll occasionally read along as the guest poet performs their work, but for the most part, I enjoy the music of their work. I discover new things when I simply listen. I love hearing the choices in tone and pacing a poet makes when performing their work. I hope for poetry lovers who live in areas where their favorite poets aren’t visiting or in some cases where, unfortunately, poetry readings just aren’t happening, online shows like “The Blood-Jet” are a resource. These shows can be conveniently streamed live from the comforts of a living room or office or anywhere with internet.

How do you select poets to feature? Who/what kind of poets interest you? Who are your influences (1) for hosting/radio/podcasting, and (2) for your own poetry/writing processes?

I select poets using any number of the following criteria:

I admire and am moved by their work and use “The Blood-Jet” as an excuse to let out my inner fan-girl. :)

I seek to showcase a diversity of poets (personal background, craft, style, education) who are underrepresented in the “mainstream” literary community. In addition, as a Filipina poet, I strive to bring as many writers of color, especially Asian American poets on the show. I try my best to invite newer, emerging writers who have experience in community spaces, such as the PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellows; Tara Betts, who is a Cave Canem Fellow; Ellen Hagan, who teaches youth in New York City through arts organizations, among many others.

I also invite poets who have been recommended by listeners of the show.

My radio influences include Poetry Foundation podcasts (I like Poetry Off the Shelf the best), the PennSound podcast through University of Pennsylvania, and iTunes’ Meet the Author series.

For my own poetry and writing, I read and revisit the work of Toni Morrison, Barbara Jane Reyes, Aracelis Girmay, Patrick Rosal, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pablo Neruda, Lorca, Sylvia Plath….

Can poetry community be created and maintained via radio?

Yes, I think poetry community can be created and maintained via radio. The Word Wide World Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio maintains close to ten shows varying in style and structure but they all focus on writing, poetry, and prose. WWWRN just celebrated its its third anniversary of poetry and prose on the radio. As far as “The Blood-Jet” goes, I try to stay in the loop with poets and writers who’ve been on the show by linking blogs, posting their events on “The Blood-Jet” blog, etc.

“The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” is an online radio show, hosted by poet and host Rachelle Cruz, where poets and writers share their work and discuss their craft, process, and the pulse that keeps them writing. It’s streamed live at on Friday mornings Pacific Standard Time.


Episode #50: Aimee Suzara on Wednesday, November 17th at 10 am PST

Aaaand we’re back!

Stay tuned for an updated Fall/Winter calendar!




Join Rachelle as she talks with Aimee Suzara, writer and performer of The History of the Body.
This Wednesday, November 17th at 10 am PST, 1 pm EST

To listen live:

Writer/performer/educator Aimee Suzara completed her M.FA. at Mills College and has been sharing poetic and multidisciplinary work since 1999.  Her play, Pagbabalik (Return) in 2007 was selected for APAture, Emerging Performance Festival, the Emerging Performance Festival at CounterPULSE and granted the Zellerbach Community Arts Fund in 2006-7.  Her poetry collection, the space between. was published by Finishing Line Press (2008) and nominated for the California Book Award; her writing appears in several journals and anthologies, including Check the Rhyme, An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees (Lit Noire Press), Kartika Review, 580 Split and Walang Hiya/No Shame (Arkipelago Books 2009). Currently, in addition to her work on A History of the Body, she is collaborating on text-dance work with Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater.  She has been a part of the collectives Kreatibo (queer Pin@y performance group), with which she co-created the Curve Lesbian Theater-Award winning “Dalagas and Tomboys: A Family Affair” in 2004, as well as Dancers Without Borders, a women’s group whose work responded to violence against women post-911.  With her roots in social justice activism, Suzara co-founded the environmental justice organization Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES) in 1999, and has worked with San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) and the Youth Media Council.  A passionate advocate for arts and literacy, she currently teaches English and poetry at community colleges and leads workshops on poetry and performance for youth and adults throughout the Bay Area and beyond.


Please consider contributing to Aimee’s play, A History of the Body, which launches November 20-21 at the Bayanihan Center in San Francisco (  A History of the Body is about  the “colonization and the body; through dance, poetry, and visual art, it looks at media images and stereotypes of Filipinos, as well as the modern-day phenomena of cosmetic skin whitening. The goal of the show is to bring awareness to important, yet little-known, Filipino-American histories and bring healing to the often-fragmented Filipino/a and woman of color in America.”

Please click here to contribute!  Thank you!