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Jamaal May: Full Interview

This page contains a full transcript of my interview with Jamaal May. We did the interview over instant messaging, so what you’re seeing is 99% exact on what was said. (The exceptions are minor typo corrections and a couple places where I re-grouped comments for the sake of clarity.)

If you don’t have time to read the full interview right now, I encourage you to check out my interview highlights.

If you don’t already know who Jamaal May is, check out my spotlight page on him. If you do already know him, be sure you subscribe to Jamaal’s YouTube page, sign up for his mailing list, browse his website, and buy his books.

Now, on to the main event!


Interview with Jamaal May

Rob D Young

Rob D Young: This is Rob D Young doing a chat interview today with award-winning (and truly bad-ass) performance poet Jamaal May. Let’s start with some of your basic FAQs.

First of all, I’d love your “summed up” version of yourself. Care to give an introduction?

Jamaal May (academic)Jamaal May: That’s kind of thing is always tricky since the overall goal of the art I make is to resist summary. The easier something is to summarize, the more limited it feels. So maybe that’s a way to sum me up: I try to move towards expansiveness. But I suppose my answer is supposed to be something less existential and along the lines of I’m a poet and performer and educator and editor from Detroit who dabbles in graphic design, music, and now photography and film.

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