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By Harryette Mullen, Hank Lazer

The Cracks among What we're and What we're presupposed to Be forms a longer attention not just of Harryette Mullen’s personal paintings, tools, and pursuits as a poet, but in addition of problems with crucial value to African American poetry and language, women’s voices, and the way forward for poetry.

Together, those essays and interviews spotlight the impulses and affects that force Mullen’s paintings as a poet and philosopher, and recommend specified percentages for the way forward for poetic language and its function as an device of id and power.

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Extra resources for The cracks between what we are and what we are supposed to be : essays and interviews

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Charades requires players to solve a kind of riddle in which each syllable of the word to be guessed, and sometimes the word itself, is enigmatically described or dramatically represented. ” The charade, in its association of words, syllables, and letters with numbers, has a cryptographic aspect, linking it to codes, ciphers, and puzzles that substitute numerals for alphabets as well as to the ancient riddling tradition. Plath’s poem shares certain features common to other types of cryptographic puzzles.

Guyton transformed a social landscape and dynamically exposed conflicting views about community when he took an abandoned shack used as a crack house and turned it into a life-­sized dollhouse; he accomplished simi­ lar aims when he turned a vacant trash-­strewn lot into a community art park and only then did politicians revile the lot as an eyesore. However, most influential to me personally is Lorenzo Thomas, whose attention to the communal drum and commitment to his own offbeat solo music demonstrates the flexibility of traditions, forms, and genres in the hands of an adept aesthetic innovator.

All of my life I had been only half hearing, but Miss Stein’s struggling words made the speech of the people around me vivid. From that moment on, in my attempts at writing, I was able to tap at will the vast pool of living words that swirled around me. (338) While cultural assimilation has been the compulsory norm for European immigrants to the United States, miscegenation, the genetic mixing of the races, has always seemed dangerous in a white America that fears the visible trace 26 Chapter 5 of color that threatens to stain or taint the presumed purity of white­ness.

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