1. Ann Patchett loves her houseI think of Eudora Welty who, at age 16, moved into the house where she would live until she was 92. She wrote her short stories at the desk in her bedroom. I write my novels in the bedroom across the hall from where we sleep. Home is then the stable window that opens out into the imagination.

2.Jay-Z has a book coming outWhen I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics-not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC-are poetry if you look at them closely enough. The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.

3. Poetically Fierce
A noted poetess and author, Vivian Ayers Allen, claims she fired a bullet at the feet of her dentist ex-husband…

4. Leaving Atlanta, the movie
Of course the big-picture (pun intended) goal is to make a feature-length film, but for this fundraiser, we are seeking to raise enough money to shoot a trailer to show to investors. There is a teaser video up on the kickstarter so you can get a feel for the project.

5. Advice for aspiring MFA students (fiction)
Short stories tend to work best without a lot of exposition. Some would say short stories shouldn’t have any exposition at all. I can think of a lot of great stories with lots of exposition, but we beginning writers are smart to avoid it as we start out.