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Interview with Marc. W. Polite

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Marc W. Polite is a poet and essayist. He writes about social justice, labor issues, film, technology, and literature. His reviews and striking commentary appear in Poets & Writers, Black Star News, Madame Noire, The Amsterdam News, The Grio, TIME Magazine, The Atlanta Post, New England Informer, and Harlem’s own Harlem News Group and Harlem World Magazine. Mr. Polite is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the social and political commentary blog site, Polite On Society, recognized by the New York Association of Black Journalists [NYABJ] for “Best Blog Commentary” of 2014.

Polite contributed an essay to the anthology 1984 in the 21st Century which is today’s Romance Daily News Book FREE Book of the Week download with membership.


When did you first start writing?

I started writing intentionally, in high school. I used to write about games, 


What's the story behind your latest book?

My latest book is The Binge Watchers Guide to Black Mirror. It is a recap and analysis of all five seasons of this science fiction anthology series. 


If this is part of series, how did you come up with the idea for the series?

It is part of a series of books, but I did not come up with the idea. I decided to write this book as a big fan of Black Mirror, and am thrilled to have such an opportunity to discuss a contemporary science fiction show. 


What motivated you to become an indie author?

What motivated me is the opportunity to put out material that I don’t often see much of. There isn’t as much of a demand for poetry in a commercial sense, but there is a niche audience out there that I have been able to find through perusing the poetry scene.


What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

The greatest joy of writing for me is to have people read my work, and to resonate with it. That lets me know that I have touched upon something that is true. 


What are your five favorite books, and why?

12 Million Black Voices, When Africa Awakes, The Warmth of Other Suns, 1984, and The Lord of the Flies. There is value in re-reading each of these books. 


Which other authors have most influenced or inspired your writing?

Richard Wright and George Orwell are among my two biggest influences as a writer. 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would tell myself to not be so scared to write for other people to see. It took me years to be able to feel confident enough to put my work out there. 


What is the one thing you want your readers to know about your books?

I want my readers to know that all of my books are reflective of reality, and how odd it can sometimes be.

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What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? 

Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay


What do you read for pleasure?

Books about the military or spy type novels. Tom Clancy and Max Allan Collins.


Describe your writing process

My writing process involves jotting ideas down in notebooks, and building on them as time goes on. I don’t necessarily write every single day, but I do find myself adding more lines and sentences to a concept that may have just began as a random musing. 


What is your writing Kryptonite? 

Instagram. There is so much funny stuff on there, that I can just find myself scrolling for hours. Memes are everything. 


Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in Harlem. It influenced my writing because, as an individual who grew up where and when I did, I wanted to know what was going on outside of my neighborhood. This wound up sending me on several trips to the library. 


What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a short chapbook of poems. 


What’s your vision for the future of publishing?

I would like to see more diversity in publishing, and the opportunity for historically marginalized writers to branch out into more endeavors. 


What drives you to keep on writing?

What drives me to continue writing is the desire to reveal the truth about our society.

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