Christian J. Collier finds poetry amidst the terror

In his new collection of poetry “The Gleaming of the Blade,” Christian J. Collier examines his world through a cinematic lens. In one poem, he takes on the perspective of one of Jason’s victims in Friday the 13th VIII. In another, he writes from the voice of The Candyman. They’re engaging, subversive poems. But he’s also revealing a deeper truth, the way that American society can turn Black men into villains. Into monsters. Throughout this collection, the Chattanooga-based poet examines the fine line between intimacy and violence, between love and hate, divisions wrought by skin color.
This week on the Reckon Interview, we hear a few poems from Christian, learn about his life in Chattanooga and the artistic community he’s helping to build there, and we discuss the deeper truths that he’s unveiling in his work.

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