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The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, 0817357130, 0-8173-5713-0, 978-0-8173-5713-9, 9780817357139, , , The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, 0817386173, 0-8173-8617-3, 978-0-8173-8617-7, 9780817386177,

The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be
Essays and Interviews
by Harryette Mullen

Quality Paper
2012. 296 pp.
978-0-8173-5713-9
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2012. 296 pp.
978-0-8173-8617-7
Price:  $39.95 d

The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be forms an extended consideration not only of Harryette Mullen’s own work, methods, and interests as a poet, but also of issues of central importance to African American poetry and language, women’s voices, and the future of poetry.

Together, these essays and interviews highlight the impulses and influences that drive Mullen’s work as a poet and thinker, and suggest unique possibilities for the future of poetic language and its role as an instrument of identity and power.


Harryette Mullen teaches American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing at UCLA. She is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge, winner of a PEN Beyond Margins Award. Her book Sleeping with the Dictionary was a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Polish, German, Swedish, Turkish, and Bulgarian.

“An absolutely stellar collection of writings and interviews offering insight into the context and history of African American innovative poetry and art (including Harryette’s own poetry).” —From the introduction by Hank Lazer, author of The New Spirit and Lyric and Spirit: Selected Essays 1996–2008

“This collection will be the first full book of critical and occasional pieces by Harryette Mullen and is a long-anticipated event in literary publishing likely to find a deeply appreciative audience. It will not only enlighten readers as to Mullen’s thinking, but will make important contributions to scholarship in the areas of poetics, African American literature, and the arts in contemporary America.”—Aldon Lynn Nielsen, author of Black Chant: Languages of African-American Postmodernism and coeditor of Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans

2012 Stephen Henderson Award


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