The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be: Essays and Interviews

Harryette Mullen
Published in 2012
by University of Alabama Press

“About one-third of my pleasure as a writer comes from the work itself, the process of writing, a third from the response of my contemporaries, and another third in contemplating unknown readers who inhabit a future I will not live to see,” writes Harryette Mullen in “Imagining the Unimagined Reader: Writing to the Unborn and Including the Excluded,” the first essay in this collection of short and long essays and interviews by the poet and scholar. Through literary analysis and detailed self-reflection, Mullen tracks the thematic and formal concerns of her work as well as the work of African American writers, including Nathaniel Mackey’s Bedouin Hornbook and Will Alexander’s Asia & Haiti. This thoughtful collection offers a glimpse into Mullen’s methods and drive for writing to those interested in the tools necessary to innovate and challenge their own writing.   


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