Highly Textured Writer: Kyle Dargan

high•ly tex•tured writ•er: A person whose work is to write books, poems, or stories and has curly or kinky hair.

Welcome Kyle Dargan to Librarian Dreams.

1. What is your signature hairstyle and how do you achieve it?
Photo of Kyle Dargan
Well, and this relates to my writing a bit, I tend to only cut my hair when a close family member passes away. (It is a folk tradition.) So unless I am in the period of mourning, my hair is usually long—a bushy, curly afro. I used to push it back with a bandana or band, but now I am going to just let it go. I have a poem in the The Listening, “Old Ways,” about that process of shearing.

2. Which books could give insight on you as a person? Why?caniborrowadollar
All of them, but only for particular moments in time. I think that since I am trying to evolve as a person throughout life, I also evolve as an author. So the kid (literally kid—I was twenty-three) who wrote The Listening is quite different than the man who wrote Honest Engine. Same body and continuum, but much different perspectives.

It’s somewhat like Common’s albums. If you listen to his albums—from Can I Borrow a Dollar through Be—his evolution as a man is so clear, clearer than it is for a lot of emcees who rehash the same things ad nauseam. I hope my books can function that way.

3. Have libraries had any impact on your writing?
Certainly. First and foremost, my grandmother was a big reader and she modeled the reading and library life for me. So my basic belief in the importance of books and their place in our lives start with her and with libraries.


While I was studying at the University of Virginia, I spent a lot of time in Alderman, the school’s amazing library. I used to go into the library hide the books that meant a lot to me—Terrance Hayes’ Muscular Music, Thomas Sayers Ellis’ The Genuine Negro Hero, etc.—so that I could get them whenever I wanted them. People will tell you how rare it was to have a plethora of African-American poets available to you in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And even though I was in college thirty or more years after that, I think I entered the library with that “starving” mentality sometimes and hoarded books. I have tried to atone since.

4. What challenges did you face in putting Honest Engine together?honest engine
It is just hard to write a book that deals with so much loss and avoid having it sound morose. There is the feeling of death and then there is the reality of death. The feeling is awful, even crippling sometimes. The reality is that death is as “natural” as birth and maturation. It is part of the human cycle and one of the things that—as far as we know—marks us as different from other organisms, the fact that we are so aware of our looming end. The other reality is that we don’t know what is on the other side of death. So you deal with what you know and you accept and ponder, as honestly as possible, that which you know not. That describes the process for writing and arranging the poems in Honest Engine.

Want to know more about Kyle Dargan? You can follow him on Twitter or visit his website

The TSA Says It Will Stop Racially Profiling Black Hair

Evelyn N. Alfred:

Glad to hear this. As someone who has experienced a hair pat down at the airport, it’s a humiliating experience.

Originally posted on HAIR STORY Online:


Black hair has faced discrimination in a slew of places. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, women who worked at hotels and as hostesses in restaurants were often the target of dress policies that labeled their cornrows as unprofessional and cause for dismissal. Since then, the news is full of stories of small children, enlisted soldiers and even men delivering Fedex packages who have been told that something is wrong with their hair. In the new millennium, airports are one of the culprits—specifically TSA agents who do security screenings.

Many Black women have had their hair searched as a part of domestic airport security screenings. Once they have gone through the full body scan, these women are then asked to step aside and an agent in latex gloves rifles through their hair, as if it could be hiding an explosive or weapon. As common as this practice has…

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3D and Arduino

AACPL recently received a grant for 3D printers and a group of us were trained on how to use it and Arduino.  

I’ve never had a chance to interact with a 3D printer so it was a fun experience.  


One of the major projects for my LBSC 622 class is to create a MakerSpace that is accessible, so I’m hoping I can use what I’ve learned for that assignment.  


The Arduino was more challenging (for me), but after some detailed instruction, we were able to get it to work too. 



I looked up the price of personal 3D printers and I saw a range from $500 to $1200 for the model the library has, but many are way higher than that. Perhaps we can get a grant for the 3D printer that makes pancakes. :)

Blackout Poetry

blackout poetry example

I’m in the planning stages of a passive program for teens, an idea I got from some of the other branches within AACPL, and of course, Austin Kleon.

 I’m using pages from discarded books and running them through the Accucut machine. The teens can then block out the words they don’t want, and then…here’s my first problem, I don’t know what comes after then. 

The first idea I had was to then have the teens tape them to a pre-cut square of construction paper, but I wish I could have a better border/portrait situation. Oh well, I’ll think of something, probably.