“Mackey’s new volume is more even than the ‘paracriticism’ of its title, it is a hinge linking practices, linking a poetic critique with a metamusical aesthetic. Fiction and criticism conjoin in the passages drawing from Mackey’s serial fiction even as the interviews proffer a poetics.”—Aldon Nielsen, Penn State University
“Mackey’s voice emanates from the perspective available to a contemporary African American, jazz influenced, on-the-postmodern-cusp intellectual poet. His voice is well defined: he knows of what he speaks, and he is keen to utilize the power of his vantages to illuminate.”—Alfred Arteaga, University of California, Berkeley
Paracritical Hinge is a collection of varied yet interrelated pieces highlighting Nathaniel Mackey’s multifaceted work as writer and critic. It embraces topics ranging from Walt Whitman’s interest in phrenology to the marginalization of African American experimental writing; from Kamau Brathwaite’s “calibanistic” language practices to Federico García Lorca’s flamenco aesthetic of duende and its continuing repercussions; from H. D.’s desert measure and coastal way of knowing to the altered spatial disposition of Miles Davis’s trumpet sound; from Robert Duncan’s serial poetics to diasporic syncretism; from the lyric poem’s present-day predicaments to gnosticism. Offering illuminating commentary on these and other artists including Amiri Baraka, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Wilson Harris, Jack Spicer, John Coltrane, Jay Wright, and Bob Kaufman, Paracritical Hinge also sheds light on Mackey’s own work as a poet, fiction writer, and editor.