Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and critic whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and many other publications. His new book is A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance.
“I learn from hearing my elders tell stories. There’s an inherent knowing of yourself as a vessel for narration who also has to—is required to—hold the attention of others at all costs. And that’s essentially what I’m trying to do. The broader project of my writing is almost a constant pleading of: Don’t leave yet. Stay here with me for just a little bit longer.”