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Book Nook: An interview with Hanif Abdurraqib

Covers of the books "Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest" and "A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance" by Hanif Abdurraqib

Columbus native Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, music critic, and please forgive the use of this term; social media influencer.

I had been wanting to interview Hanif Abdurraqib for some time but I did not think it would ever happen. Then in September Hanif came to the Dayton Metro Library to give a talk. Several of us from WYSO went to hear him speak. He gave a brilliant presentation that day which included a long, compelling Q&A session.

During his event he mentioned he would be spending the afternoon in Dayton. That evening he was going to be making another appearance in Wilberforce. When he said that my first thought was; he's probably going to be passing through Yellow Springs. At three o'clock that afternoon I was inside the Underdog Cafe in Yellow Springs keeping an eye out for the possible arrival of a very distinguished visitor. A few minutes later a gentleman came in and although he was wearing a face mask which could have made it more difficult to recognize him I knew it was him right away! I said: "Hi, Hanif!" He was quite surprised. We chatted briefly. I told him how much I had appreciated his library appearance that morning. Then I mentioned that there's this radio show on WYSO that I host and I would love to have him appear some time as my guest!

He immediately said, "sure, let me give you my email address." We ended up emailing one another and he quickly set a date for our interview. I loved interviewing him. His books are amazing. I really do believe in miracles.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public LibraryClark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.