Where in Queens do you live?
How would you describe the writing you do?
I write diplomatic speeches and journalistic stories that focus on international politics and culture for work, academic papers on conflict and security studies for graduate school, and creative non-fiction and short stories for pleasure.
How did you come to writing?
I have always enjoyed writing, but one of my other passions, soccer, helped me get published for the first time and led me to consider writing/editing as a career. I covered Senegal’s historic run in 2002 World Cup for a now defunct weekly newspaper in Harlem and eventually landed a regular gig covering politics, music, and sports on the strength of my first soccer pieces.
What inspires you?
The sights, sounds, tastes, smells, unconventional beauty, and simultaneous notions of marginality and centrality that Queens, as the most global part of the globe’s most global city, offers as a daily backdrop. Also, al pastor tacos.
What does it mean to be a writer living in Queens?
Being a writer in Queens means being a part of something that is both emerging and established. Something that is local, yet inherently global. Something that is still being written, edited, and revised as a result of the migratory patterns, economic shocks, and political instabilities that often only seem like dissociated headlines in far away places. It means feeling a connection with, and paying respect to, the many others who have written in Queens over the years such as Jacob Riis, Jack Kerouac, and Nas.