Sterling D. Plumpp—blues poet and essayist—is the author of fourteen books including Velvet Bebop Kente Cloth, Ornate with Smoke, and Blues Narratives. He is the editor of two anthologies, Somehow We Survive, a collection of South African writing, and Steel Pudding: Writing from the Gary Historical and Cultural Society Writer’s Workshop. Plumpp is Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago where he served on the faculty in the African American Studies and English Departments and most recently served as a visiting professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chicago State University. In 2009, Valley Voices produced an entire issue of its journal, The Sterling Plumpp Issue, focused on his poetry, interviews, and critical explorations of his work. He is the recipient of numerous awards as a blues poet and African American cultural storyteller. His most recent book of poems, Home/Bass (forthcoming, Third World Press), was inspired by the life of blues artist Willie Kent.
Reginald Gibbons, Director of Planning for TriQuarterly, interviewed Plumpp in 2003. The full text of the interview was published here in 2010.