Shawnte Orion hosts monthly poetry readings in Arizona. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle Magazine, Georgetown Review, New York Quarterly and many other journals. He has been invited to read at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats. His first book The Existentialist Cookbook was published by NYQBooks.
I found the man to be absolutely, freakishly delightful. I love "street" poets because they have not been blinded by the limitations of convention. They do not serve at the dusty altar of tradition. Rather, they point their attention at the mundane: an egg salad sandwich, a ride on public transit, doing your girlfriend's laundry, etc. These are the real moments of real lives. And our poets make and remake the world in ways that help us to see it anew. And in so doing, a new relationship is birthed into the world. The sacred marriage of self and Other is consummated once more. Poetry is no joke, maybe even especially the funny stuff. Because in the laughter, the potential for transformation lurks just below the surface. I hope you enjoy this episode. We sure enjoyed making it.