Meet the Author: Marquis Bey

Enjoy getting to know, Marquis Bey.


You’re the first poet I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Tell us in three words how you would best describe your writing. 

Thematic, volatile, and iconoclastic (I guess that’s technically four words, haha)

Share your favorite passage from your book in one paragraph or less.

That’s a difficult question, but I guess I would say my favorite is a line from the middle of the story: “1,369 lights and still a man bereft of light.” It really captures what I am trying to get at throughout the entire story and is also an allusion to one of my favorite books, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author but can never write again or write forever but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

The opportunity to write forever is much more tempting for me. Writing is how I organize my thoughts, how I determine what I want to say and how it must be said. It’s therapeutic. Screw writing a bestseller. I write primarily for me; I write the stories I want to read. As the brilliant, phenomenal, kickass author, critic, and scholar Toni Morrison has said: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I write the books I wish to read. I don’t write to be famous.

If you could live on a college campus, and never leave, or in a small town, but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

This is tough. I mean, I live on a college campus right now and I don’t mind it at all; however, I do see a great benefit in traveling and seeing the world. I’ll go with living in a small town and traveling because my primary concern is gaining knowledge. I can accrue so much knowledge by traveling and yet still have a sense of place.

Okay, how about in an amusement park or an airport?

Amusement park, hands down. Roller coasters are awesome.

And how about Australia or Scotland?

Australia. Their accents are pretty cool 🙂

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

I’m not a band person (nor was I anywhere near music savvy in the 90s—I was born in ’92! Lol).

Ouch 🙂

Is there any good band out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?

Sadly, not that I know of. I’m a hip-hop kind of guy. I love hip-hop because I love language, and the way hip-hop artists mold and shape words, how dexterous they are with similes and metaphor and wordplay is phenomenal to me. If it were up to me, I’d love to see people like Brother Ali, Childish Gambino, and Common Market world famous and legendary in 50 years.

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is The Office)?

South Park, no doubt.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

Yeah, grad school apps lol

 Me too!

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

TONI MORRISON!!! (I’m sorry, I get excited every time her name comes up.) I only have one question for her: may I hug you?

Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Mountains

Yogurt or ice cream? Ice cream

M & M’s or Skittles? Skittles

The Daily Show or The Colbert Report? Colbert Report

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Sad, I hate happy endings and happy people in novels (misanthropic much?)

Beer or wine? I don’t do the whole alcohol thing

Flying or driving? Driving

Hemingway or Twain? Twain

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

Two things: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (my favorite book) and a fan (I imagine it’ll be pretty hot on the island. Two people: my wonderful girlfriend and whoever else wants to come lol

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet at their place of royalty?

One, I resent you assuming the male pronoun when referring to world leaders (sorry, that’s what ya get when you interview a feminist), but I don’t think my pick would be considered a “world leader” by many people. I would want to sit down with Sojourner Truth and just listen to her. I don’t even have to talk, I just want to listen to her speak. And certainly I’d have her over my house.

You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be? 🙂

I’d wish to never stop learning.

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Marquis Bey is a Philadelphia native finishing his senior year at Lebanon Valley College studying philosophy, American studies, and English. This feminist, social justice advocate, and scholar plans to attend graduate school to pursue his Ph.D. in African American literature as well as obtain a graduate certificate in women and gender studies. His scholarship  and research is in the field of African American culture/literature, race, and gender/sexuality, and he posts regularly on his blog:

You can purchase his latest work “Incredibly True Tales of Make Believe People” here right now!