Today’s GalleyCrush is Nathaniel Mackey’s three-book box set, Double Trio, forthcoming from New Directions on April 6, 2021.
Perfect pitch: “For thirty-five years the poet Nathaniel Mackey has been writing a long poem of fugitive-making like no other: two elegiac, intertwined serial poems—Song of the Andoumboulou and ‘Mu’—that follow a mysterious, migrant ‘we’ through the rhythms and currents of the world with lyrical virtuosity and impassioned expectancy.”
First lines: “All alone he staggered, newly / back from Málaga. Deep strum, / bowed Maghrebi strings chorused / in back of him, the Full Moon / Double / Octet blared as well…”
Big blurb: “Still sourcing and exploring two massive, braided streams of retrospective invention—‘Mu’ and Song of the Andoumboulou—Mackey’s liturgy falls and sprays and pools in Double Trio. Bottomless, modal, modular as McCoy Tyner’s matched, augmented threes, surfaces bloomed with turbulent, recombinant bottom like Bill Dixon’s double-bassed ensembles, Double Trio doesn’t culminate: It promises.” —Fred Moten
Cover credit: Rodrigo Corral
Book notes: Poetry, paperback box set, 1,080 pages.
Author bio: Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami, Florida, in 1947. He is the author of several books of fiction, poetry, and criticism and has received many awards for his work, including the National Book Award in Poetry for Splay Anthem (New Directions, 2006), the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society, the Bollingen Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Mackey is the Reynolds Price Professor of English at Duke University.