The Truth In This Art Podcast - Insights for Artists, Creatives, and Cultural Leaders

Magical Creativity: Alex Jennings and the Ballad of Perilous Graves

Magical Creativity: Alex Jennings and the Ballad of Perilous Graves

Alex Jennings is a writer, editor, teacher, and poet living in New Orleans. He is the author of the debut novel "The Ballad of Perilous Graves" and is known for his love of music, film, and comics.

Alex shares how his father's wish for a fantasy novel with a black hero influenced his writing. Alex describes his debut novel, "The Ballad of Perilous Graves," a black exploitation Pippi Longstocking adventure set in a version of New Orleans where music is a kind of sorcery. He talks about the writing process and the challenges he faced in bringing the novel to life. Alex also discusses the importance of representation in his work, including a trans character with powerful magic. He shares how living in New Orleans has influenced his creativity and helped him understand the importance of community in his work.

During this conversation:

  • Step into the captivating narrative of "The Ballad of Perilous Graves," Alex Jennings' debut novel that fuses the vibrancy of black exploitation with the enchantment of Pippi Longstocking, creating an uncharted adventure in a New Orleans world where music wields magical powers.
  • Join the exploration of the novel's rich tapestry as we delve into its profound examination of representation, guided by the journey of a trans character wielding formidable magic and navigating themes that resonate with today's discourse.
  • Embark on a literary journey as Alex Jennings unveils the intricate evolution of his writing process, inspired by his father's longing for a fantasy novel with a black hero, and follow the decade-long path to crafting a story that merges imagination with cultural significance.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant heart of New Orleans through Alex's lens, as we delve into how the city's sense of community has become a wellspring of inspiration, leaving an indelible mark on his creative identity and influencing the narratives he weaves.

Join host Rob Lee as he delves into the creative mind of writer Alex Jennings. From comics to music, they discuss the influences behind his debut novel on The Truth in This Art podcast!

Twitter: (@magicknegro)
Instagram: (@magicknegro)

🎧🌟 Don't forget to rate and review this episode to support the best in podcasting! 🌟🎧

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

If you have a story about art, culture, or community in Baltimore, share it with us at for a chance to be featured on "The Truth In This Art" podcast. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the arts and culture podcast scene and showcase your insights on "The Truth In This Art" with Rob Lee.

Follow The Truth In This Art on Twitter, Threads, IG, and Facebook @truthinthisart

Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.

Episode illustration by Alley Kid Art.

About "The Truth In This Art"

Hosted by Rob Lee, "The Truth In This Art" podcast dives into the heart of creativity and its influence on the community. This arts and culture podcast from Baltimore highlights artists discussing their ideas, sharing insights, and telling impactful stories. Through these artist interviews, listeners gain a deeper understanding of the creative economy and artistic life in Baltimore. 

Support the show:
★ Support this podcast ★

Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Writer/editor, author of THE BALLAD OF PERILOUS GRAVES. (Redhook, 2022.) First-ever Imagination Unbound Fellow at Under the Volcano, 2022. (he/him)