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Nathaniel Mackey is an American poet, novelist, anthologist, literary critic, editor and Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruzmarker. Mackey is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

He has been editor and publisher of Hambone since 1982.

Biography

Nathaniel Mackey was born in 1947 in Miami, Florida. He obtained his B.A. from Princeton Universitymarker and his PhD from Stanford Universitymarker. He has taught and lived in Santa Cruzmarker since 1979.

Poetry

Mackey's books of poetry include Four for Trane (1978); Septet for the End of Time (1983); Eroding Witness (1985), which was selected for the National Poetry Series; Outlandish (1992); School of Udhra (1993); Song of the Andoumboulou: 18-20 (1994); Whatsaid Serif (1998); and, most recently, Splay Anthem, which was awarded the 2006 National Book Award in poetry. In 2007 he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
"...Mackey's series of improvisatory jazz-inspired fictions locates a ground between invention and listening that he defines as the source of culture itself. All culture, for Mackey, is a form of listening to what "we" are collectively improvising."
Barrett Watten
Mackey’s poetry combines African mythology, African-American musical traditions, and Modernist poetic experiment. His several ongoing serial projects explore the relationship of poetry and historical memory, as well as the ritual power of poetry and song.

Fiction

Mackey has published four volumes of an ongoing prose project entitled, From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Bass Cathedral (2008), Atet A. D. (2001), Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993) and Bedouin Hornbook (1986).

Criticism and editing

Mackey is the author of Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993), an influential book of literary theory, and more recently of Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (2004). He has edited the avant-garde literary journal Hambone for more than 15 years, and co-edited Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose with Art Lange(1993).

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