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Poet Quenton Baker
Courtesy of Helen Peppe

Poet Quenton Baker On America's Black/White Split

Elizabeth Austen talks with Marcie Sillman about a new chapbook from Seattle poet and teacher Quenton Baker.

Baker peels back layers of language to reveal the ways both blackness and whiteness are racialized in "Diglossic in the Second America," just published by Punch Press.

In the poem "Corner Store and Back Again," a traffic accident becomes a microcosm of the black/white split, complicated further by mental illness.

Baker is a 2015-16 Made at Hugo House fellow, and was a founding member of the hip-hop duo Gray Matters. His poems have been featured in journals and anthologies, including "Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters"and "It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop."

Baker earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine. He writes occasional poetry reviews at the site Poet by Poet.

Web Extra: Hear Baker read and discuss the title poem to his chapbook, "Diglossic in the Second America."

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