The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be
Essays and Interviews
The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be forms an extended consideration not only of Harryette Mullen’s own work, methods, and interests as a poet, but also of issues of central importance to African American poetry and language, women’s voices, and the future of poetry.
The bold essays that make up Reading the Difficulties offer case studies in and strategies for reading innovative poetry. Definitions of what constitutes innovative poetry are innumerable and are offered from every quarter. Some critics and poets argue that innovative poetry concerns free association (John Ashbery), others…
Together, these essays and interviews highlight the impulses and influences that drive Mullen’s work as a poet and thinker, and suggest unique possibilities for the future of poetic language and its role as an instrument of identity and power.
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