Saidu Tejan-Thomas is a young poet. For a long time, he had a story he needed to tell: an homage and apology to his mother. It's a tragic love story driven by the tangled search for a better life. It's personal for sure, but set against the universal perils of immigration--in Saidu's case, from Sierra Leone in West Africa--but by extension, from anywhere.
It uses Saidu's poems as narrative drivers, reveals, and resolutions. These are not easy tasks for poems. When Saidu and Jay identified moments in the story that needed these bridges, Saidu would say something like, "I'll go to the Poem Factory and see what I can do." He always made something perfect.
Saidu's words are grounded and elevated, his voice is strong and vulnerable, his outlook is youthful and wise. We can’t understand how he pulls that off. Maybe you can. This was produced with Jay Allison and with support from the NEA. Read more here.
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