TCT: From where do you draw your poetic inspiration?
JF: Firstly I tend to think in very complex images and sometimes a poem is my visceral response to the complex images in my head. The expression of my reaction to what I am seeing can be woven into a critique of the human condition. Also I am plight heavy, I write wrongs so to speak, I believe that this world will be so much better when people aren’t destroying one another based on differences that are beyond our control, so in a way I see a truly wounded world around me and writing is how I medicate it.
TCT: What advice would you give to an aspiring poet?
JF: Write. It actually is truly that easy. Every voice is necessary; there is no such thing as over-saturation when it comes to poetry. Each writer is saying something unique and reaching someone unique. A world of writers is a world of thinkers.
TCT: What’s next?
JF: I am a very ambitious writer. Poetry is one of the many ways I want to use my pen; I want to write music, short stories, I want to write for TV and movies. But truly I want to teach in any form possible, from Ted Talks to small workshops.
TCT: What’s the most memorable moment from your career?
JF: Making the Brooklyn College slam team. The community of poets at Brooklyn College is loving and nurturing, as well as strict and inspiring enough to drive work forward, and make demands of you that you wouldn’t have made for yourself. The Brooklyn college poetic community is truly about the growth and the poetry.
TCT: What advice would you give your younger self?
JF: Take high school seriously. Love as often and unwisely as your body will allow. True friends will cry with you just as easy as they laugh.
TCT: How would you describe yourself/your poetry in 80 characters” (This is intended to be Twitter-friendly)
JF: Joel Francois can count his life in crumbled paper and ketchup stains. He is late to everything good to him, and so careful with change he even makes the same mistakes over and over.
TCT: Pablo Neruda or Maya Angelou?
JF: Maya, women writers are always better.
TCT: Fiction or non-fiction?
JF: Non-fiction; the autobiography of Malcolm X is game changing.
TCT: The Met or the MoMA?
I really don’t know, I am not fancy.
TCT: Writing or reading?
TCT: Uptown or downtown NYC?
TCT: NYC in spring or NYC in autumn?
JF: ‘There is no magic like an NYC fall.’
By Kaycia Sailsman
Kaycia is a homebody to the fullest but enjoys venturing out and around Brooklyn and reading in her spare time. She dreams to one day travel to different places like Toronto, Australia, and South Korea. Follow her on Twitter @KSailsman.