It’s been a contemplative spring, friends, one as heavy with emotional processing as the branches of a flowering peony bush (you know, the ones near Chinese Reconciliation Park in Tacoma, with milky-white flowers larger than our fists and a melancholy that drags at the bush). We’ve been absorbed with emotional processing all year, it seems, and our latest podcast interview with Robert Lashley, an exceptionally lyrical and honest poet, was no different.
Robert joined us for a cathartic and open conversation about authenticity in art, the manifestation of grief, and the weight of public shaming. We also dived into respectability politics, gentrification and heritage, and were fortunate that Robert shared his poetry with us throughout the conversation. We hope you enjoy this one, folks, or at the very least, come away with a deeper appreciation for how our complex array of emotion and personal experience inform our art, whether intentional or not. Now grab those headphones, head to Chinese Reconciliation Park, and every now or then, look up from the flowers to watch the fog drift over the water. Drift with it.
*This episode of Prickly Pear Podcast was recorded at Hugo House, a resource and education center for writers, in Seattle. Thank you again to Hugo House for graciously allowing us to record our podcast in one of their cozy workshop spaces. Learn about upcoming writing workshops, readings, and opportunities to utilize writing spaces at HugoHouse.org
Robert Lashley is a writer and activist whose was a 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Truat Fellow, and a nominee for a Stranger Genius Award. He has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summitt, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit, Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include THE HOMEBOY SONGS (Small Doggies Press, 2014), and UP SOUTH (Small Doggies Press, 2017). In 2019, The Homeboy Songs was named by Entropy Magazine as one of the 25 most essential books to come out of the Seattle area.