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MTS 12: Telling lies, asking questions & discovering personal truth in writing with Yahdon Israel



In this episode I talk with Yahdon Israel, one of Under the Gum Tree's previous contributors. Yahdon is 27-year-old writer from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, who has written for Avidly, The New Inquiry, Brooklyn Magazine, LitHub, and Poets and Writers. He graduated from the MFA Creative Non-Fiction Writing program at the New School. He is the Awards and Membership VP of the National Book Critics Circle. Run a popular Instagram page which promotes literature and fashion under the hashtag Literaryswag, and host a web show for writers called LIT. In this episode we talk about: Writing as a means to confronting the world Telling lies to find your voice, and writing as a way to be heard Getting to the truth of feelings through false constructs like memory and objectivity How James Baldwin has influenced Yahdon as a writer White editors and their expectation that black writers should answer their questions Complexity of asking questions that reveal assumptions and lies we tell ourselves The essay as a form of asking questio