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19 Rounds with Tyrese Coleman

We are so excited that Tyrese Coleman has joined the Split Lip FAM as a contributing editor. Her book How to Sit was a finalist for the 2019 PEN Open Book Award. Go ahead and take a moment to applaud, because we are (and then get your copy), then help us welcome Tyrese officially with 19 Rounds:

1. Early bird or night owl?

I have children, and therefore, no concept of time.

2. What was your worst haircut?

I always had a wonderful head of thick, long hair to my mother's annoyance. At some point in 1988 when I was 8 years old, she got the idea that it would be easier to manage and also be the height of Black hair trends to give me a Jheri curl. The stylist cut all my beautiful hair and then processed the hell out of it. It was short, basically the Black version of a bowlish mullet and IT WAS NOT CUTE! If it had not been 1988, I may have been teased relentlessly considering by that point I was chubby and my hair constantly dripped down my shirt, but it was THE STYLE. My mother, on the other hand, never heard the end of it from my aunts who couldn't believe she would 1) cut my hair 2) process my hair and 3) mess with my hair at all. They were not having it.

3. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

"Liberation," OutKast

4. Can you roll your tongue?

Absolutely. So can my son. It's genetic.

5. Mayonnaise: yes or no?

Only as a mixer such as in egg and tuna salad and then VERY sparingly, like, just enough to get everything put together. Otherwise, EW!

6. What is your least favorite word to come across when reading a book or story?

"Began." For example, "she began typing." No. "She typed"!

7. Which movie was better than the book?

Not movie, but I would say the show Outlander is better than the Outlander books.

8. What was your first concert?

New Edition, early 80s, at Kings Dominion

9. It's Friday night. You're home alone. What did you order for dinner and what's on the TV?

Right now, it would be Marvel's Runaways and I'd be eating coconut chicken and Brussels sprouts #ketolife

10. How do you take your coffee?

Black with one Splenda and one Stevia b/c Splenda is not keto compliant, but it tastes better than asked. #ketoishard

11. What expression do you use that most people have never heard?

Honestly, I don't think I have one.

12. What movie have you seen the most times?

Probably Back to the Future. It was my favorite movie as a kid and if it's on TV, I will watch it (all of them).

13. What is the best thing you cook or bake?

I can make a mean skillet mac and cheese, but haven't done that in a while #efyouketo

14. Finish this sentence: More people should be reading _______________.


15. Favorite time-waster?


16. What's the hardest thing about writing?

Not talking myself out of it. Meaning, I have to trust myself that I can follow through on the goals I set for myself and that my ideas are actually good ones. More times than most my writer's block is a result of impostor syndrome and not a desire to write.

17. What's the best thing about writing?

The feeling of reading something you wrote and realizing, fuck that is so damn good! Being able to impress yourself is amazing.

18. What is your favorite sentence from a short story or poem?

I'm going to be honest and admit that I've never memorized or thought about individual sentences like this. I read for the entirety of the thing. Don't get me wrong, I love writing on the sentence level, but I try not to hold on to sentences because, for me, its the whole piece that I end up thinking about when I reach the end. I will say that a book that has stuck with me ever since I read it, and listened to its lyricism, is The Devourers by Indra Das.

19. What question were you hoping to be asked?

I don't know, but thank god these weren't about craft...


Visit Tyrese's bio page to learn more.


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