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Basic Folk – Kara Jackson

Jul 20, 2023

Basic Folk - Kara Jackson

Kara Jackson has a mind like a diamond and a voice like maple syrup. She has always been drawn to music as a medium, but you probably first heard of her as the National Youth Poet Laureate. Cutting her teeth as a performing poet gave Jackson a huge public platform as well as a sense of how form can be a foundation for expression.


Now, at the ripe age of 23, Jackson has released her stunning debut album, Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love. As the title suggests, this album reflects on love and loss. Kara has some fantastic insights about how embracing grief, and sharing it with others, can lead us to a healthier culture. She also shares about how her parents’ political convictions have influenced her concept of an artist’s role in the world.

One of my favorite moments in my conversation is where Kara articulates how she sees her work in conversation with Black artists who came before her. What a gift, to hear a brilliant young artist speak so clearly about how their creativity fits into a bigger tradition. We cannot wait to see what she does next.

Editor’s Note: Lizzie and Kara talked about Kara’s poem “anthem for my belly after eating too much” at the top of the interview. Read it here.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Agyei

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Basic Folk - Kara Jackson
Basic Folk - Kara Jackson