In this Book

The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. p. xiii
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  1. I. Shorter Essays
  2. p. 1
  1. 1. Imagining the Unimagined Reader: Writing to the Unborn and Including the Excluded
  2. pp. 3-8
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  1. 2. Poetry and Identity
  2. pp. 9-12
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  1. 3. Kinky Quatrains: The Making of Muse & Drudge
  2. pp. 13-17
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  1. 4. Telegraphs from a Distracted Sibyl
  2. pp. 18-19
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  1. 5. If Lilies are Lily White: From the Stain of Miscegenation in Stein’s “Melanctha” to the “Clean Mixture” of White and Color in Tender Buttons
  2. pp. 20-28
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  1. 6. Nine Syllables Label Sylvia: Reading Plath’s “Metaphors”
  2. pp. 29-34
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  1. 7. Evaluation of an Unwritten Poem: Wislawa Szymborska in the Dialogue of Creative and Critical Thinkers
  2. pp. 35-43
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  1. 8. Theme for the Oulipians
  2. pp. 44-48
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  1. 9. When He Is Least Himself: Paul Laurence Dunbar and Double Consciousness in African American Poetry
  2. pp. 49-56
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  1. 10. Truly Unruly Julie: The Innovative Rule-Breaking Poetry of Julie Patton
  2. pp. 57-59
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  1. 11. All Silence Says Music Will Follow: Listening to Lorenzo Thomas
  2. pp. 60-67
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  1. 12. The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be: Stretching the Dialogue of African American Poetry
  2. pp. 68-76
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  1. II. Longer Essays
  2. p. 77
  1. 13. African Signs and Spirit Writing
  2. pp. 79-101
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  1. 14. Runaway Tongue: Resistant Orality in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Our Nig, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Beloved
  2. pp. 102-129
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  1. 15. Optic White: Blackness and the Production of Whiteness
  2. pp. 130-154
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  1. 16. Phantom Pain: Nathaniel Mackey’s Bedouin Hornbook
  2. pp. 155-161
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  1. 17. A Collective Force of Burning Ink: Will Alexander’s Asia & Haiti
  2. pp. 162-172
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  1. 18. Incessant Elusives: The Oppositional Poetics of Erica Hunt and Will Alexander
  2. pp. 173-182
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  1. III. Interviews
  2. p. 183
  1. 19. “The Solo Mysterioso Blues”: An Interview with Harryette Mullen by Calvin Bedient
  2. pp. 185-203
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  1. 20. An Interview with Harryette Mullen by Daniel Kane
  2. pp. 204-212
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  1. 21. An Interview with Harryette Mullen by Elisabeth A. Frost
  2. pp. 213-232
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  1. 22. An Interview with Harryette Mullen by Cynthia Hogue
  2. pp. 233-257
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  1. 23. “I Dream a World”: A Conversation with Harryette Mullen by Nibir K. Ghosh
  2. pp. 258-266
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 267-273
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