Ep. 2: Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing”

Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Prize. She is the winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise. 


The Drip is back for another hot episode in which: Crystal diplomatically disagrees, Adriana wonders what a plait is, Anita takes over as show host, and Todd bungles a fifteen second history of African American literature! Oh — and of course, we talk about Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. You’re going to love this one. We’ve got new music, we’re a tad more organized, and we’ve kept the whole thing to under an hour — just like a real podcast. You don’t want to miss it!


  • Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward


  • Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
  • A People’s History of Chicago by Kevin Coval
  • Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens

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