CooXooEii Black is currently in his final semester at the University of Memphis where he is finishing his MFA in creative writing with a focus on poetry.
In the fall of 2022, he was one of three, out of thousands, selected for the Rattle Chapbook Prize. Rattle, a national literary journal, annually holds this contest for a chapbook, which is a manuscript of poetry that is usually less than 40 pages.
His chapbook, The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky, came out on December 1. It features 16 poems and cover art by John Isaiah Pepion titled “Morning Star Song.”
This was CooXooEii’s first time submitting a manuscript to Rattle for the contest and shared it felt surreal getting the email saying he was selected.
“It was pretty surreal, honestly, because I felt good about my manuscripts but to actually get the email telling me that I was one of the winners was pretty cool,” he explained. … “I was honestly just speechless. I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
With the exception of maybe two poems in the chapbook, they were all written in one semester.
“All the poems revolved around all my uncles that I grew up with,” he explained. “And basically, I took all of their stories and just sort of consolidated them into one character and wrote the poems from about that one character.”
Any other publications on the horizon? He’s currently working on his thesis, which will be a full-length collection. He has a goal to get that published into a full-length book manuscript.
In the meantime, he’s selling copies of The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky. Send him a Facebook message to inquire about purchasing a copy.