Tyree Daye – Sea Island Blues

Picture of Tyree DayeAuthor: Tyree Daye

First can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do for fun? Where did you study? What are some things you absolutely love?

I’m from Youngsville, North Carolina. I live and went to school in Raleigh, North Carolina. My fun is had just being out with friends, watching old movies with my girlfriend. For a while we’ve been discussing the film The Spook Who Sat by the Door. Which is one of favorite films. I recently graduated from North Carolina State University (NCSU) with a B.A in creative writing and two minors one in film and the other in Africana Studies. I’m continuing my studies at NCSU. I recently been accepted to its MFA program. I enjoy cooking which usually means experimenting. Like the ginger glazed shrimp tacos with light apple vinegar slaw I made tonight. With roasted corn and black beans on the side. Nothing more needs to be said.


How long did you spend writing Sea Island Blues?

Sea Island Blues took almost a year to write. I sent six days in the South Carolina, Sea Island area St.Helena, Johns Island mostly taking notes. I really didn’t start writing Sea Island Blues until I got back to Raleigh. With anything I write it’s hard to capture while I’m still in the moment. I have step away from it. I tell myself it forces me to remember those little things which too me makes a great poem.


Once it was sent out, how long did it take for it to get picked up?

It took about three months for me to hear back form Backbone Press which is out of Durham, North Carolina. Backbone puts together some great looking chapbooks. I wouldn’t want Sea Island Blues anywhere else.


If you had to explain what your chapbook was about in 3 words, what would you say?

Survival, Faith, Pain


How did your life change (because of) or after your first chapbook was published?

Before Sea Island Blues I wasn’t doing interviews. So that’s nice. I’ve also met some great writers after completing the chapbook.


What was the last poem that you wrote about?

The Fall


When you buy dollar loafs of bread

you got a week before the fungus.

It’s the saddest thing praying over mold,

the devil sitting on the counter the rat shit

pressed to his red ass. He’ll turn it into

a joke about the things dead men keep.

For now you just hear him laugh

every time you thank God for something.

I like to believe his little time in heaven did him good.

That he said a few hail Mary’s and hallelujahs

before the fall. That when he gives us dope

he’s really saying something sweet, something

a mother would before the juice takes hold

and we turn into balls on the couch.

That’s how it goes, blues and buried,

bottles and Betty’s. Until you come down

and you don’t have quite enough

for beer across the street

and your credit is all ran out.

So you go to your leftover butts,

picking out the wet ones.

Even the smoke you blow doesn’t rise.


Who are some contemporary poets that you are currently reading?

Just read Jericho Brown’s The New Testament and Zachary Schomburg’s The Man Suit.


Can you talk to us a little bit about what you are currently working on?

I just finished a full book of poems entitled What You and the Devil do to Stay Warm.