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Homegoings: Poet Rajnii Eddins on using ‘courageous vulnerability’ to navigate the darkness

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Photo: Myra Flynn, VPR
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Graphic: Elodie Reed, VPR
Burlington-based poet Rajnii Eddins speaks to VPR's Jane Lindholm for the latest installment of "Homegoings."

Brave Little State speaks to Burlington-based poet Rajnii Eddins about life, art and “courageous vulnerability,” and Eddins performs some of his favorite poems, old and new.

Note: Our show is produced for the ear. We recommend listening to the audio above if you can! But we also provide a written transcript of the episode here.

This is the fifth installment of Homegoings, a special series from Brave Little State that features conversations with artists of color who live in Vermont. Follow the series here. And a heads up that this episode contains explicit language.

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Who is Rajnii Eddins?

Originally from Seattle Washington, spoken word poet/emcee and teaching artist Rajnii Eddins has been engaging diverse community audiences for over 27 years. He was the youngest member of the Afrikan American Writers Alliance at age 11 and has been actively sharing with youth and community in Vermont since 2010. His latest work, Their Names Are Mine, aims to confront white supremacy while emphasizing the need to affirm our mutual humanity.

For more information, check out rajniieddins.com.

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Rajnii Eddins performs a new poem, "Beautiful Sun Kissed People"
With an original score by Myra Flynn.

Beautiful Sun Kissed People (Excerpt)

Walking miracles
Unfolding parables
Ancient scrolls
In ocean's throes

LOVE be a rose
Adorning your ears

This morning
will not bring mourning

nor a thorn in tears

This forever moment is shorn of fears

Beautiful Sun Kissed People

We are on the cusp of overthrowing overseers

Light years beyond
Heckles and jeers

No more tanning our hides while Dr. Jekyll steers

This love is sheer transparent and near

As Dear as your closest relative here

(Click here to read the full poem and to check out more of Rajnii’s poetry referenced in the episode.)

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Credits:

If you have recommendations for future interviews in our Homegoings series, get in touch with our team by emailing hello@bravelittlestate.org.

Homegoings was created by the Brave Little State team: Josh Crane, Angela Evancie and Myra Flynn, with help from Elodie Reed. Myra produced and mixed this episode, and composed all the music.

As always, our journalism is better when you’re a part of it:

Brave Little State is a production of Vermont Public Radio.

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Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. She also produces special projects for the station. Until March 2021, she was the host of the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition.