Writer Ashley C. Ford is known for her intimate profiles of big splashy celebrities including Missy Elliott, Anne Hathaway and Serena Williams for such magazines as Allure and Marie Claire.
But she is also known for her personal essays, like this one from 2012 called “What Burns in the Pit”:
Ford is also a proud Midwesterner who was inspired by the novels of another famous Midwestern writer, Toni Morrison. “It was sadder than I thought the book could get,” Ford says of reading “The Bluest Eye” in middle school, “and there was something validating in that sadness, because I knew that sadness. I had been that sad and I felt like something was wrong with me for being the age I was and knowing the kind of sadness that I did that I was pretty sure no one else knew.”
Ford and fellow Midwestern writer, and guest host for this week, Hanif Abdurraqib talk about their first Toni Morrison books and the growing cohort of black Midwestern writers. “I do think that you have to be proud of where you’re from,” Ford says. “And you have to rep where you’re from a little bit ... talk about what it was like.”
Ford also admits to loving the king of soundtrack songs, Kenny Loggins. “I listened to it all the time and it just never stopped,” she says. “With most music at some time I’m like, ‘OK, I’m done with that. I’ve been listening to that album and I’m done with it.’ But it never stopped. I listen to Kenny Loggins all the time.”
Ashley C. Ford is working on a memoir, “Somebody’s Daughter,” which will be out in 2021.
Guest host Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of “Go Ahead In The Rain,” and his latest collection of poetry, “A Fortune For Your Disaster,” is out now.