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Nathaniel Mackey, winner of the 2006 National Book Award, presents "Bass Cathedral" which is an open-ended epistolary novel. The fourth in an ongoing series commencing with "Bedouin Hornbook" in 1978.
A stellar new collection of poems by "the Balanchine of the architecture dance" (The New York Times), and winner of the National Book Award in poetry. Nathaniel Mackey's sixth collection of poems, Blue Fasa, continues what the New Yorker has described as the "mythological conception" and "descriptive daring" of his two intertwined serial poems--where, however, "no prior knowledge is required" for readers new to this poet's visionary work. This collection takes its title from two related black musical traditions, a West African griot epic as told by the Fasa, a clan in ancient Ghana, and trumpeter Kenny Dorham's hard bop classic "Blue Bossa," influenced by the emergence of Brazilian bossa nova. In two sections Blue Fasa opens with the catch of the heart and the call of romance, as it follows a band of travelers, refugees from history, on their incessant migrations through time, place, and polity, toward renewal.
In a stunning new collection of poems of transport and transcendence, African-American poet Nathaniel Mackey's "asthmatic song of aspiration" scuttles across cultures and histories from America to Andalucía, from Ethiopia to Vienna in a sexy, beautiful adaptive dance. Part antiphonal rant, part rhythmic whisper, Nathaniel Mackey's new collection of poems, Splay Anthem, takes the reader to uncharted poetic spaces. Divided into three sections "Braid," "Fray," and "Nub" (one referent Mackey notes in his stellar Introduction: "the imperial, flailing republic of Nub the United States has become, the shrunken place the earth has become, planet Nub") Splay Anthem weaves together two ongoing serial poems Mackey has been writing for over twenty years. In the cosmology of the Dogon of West Africa, the Andoumboulou are progenitor spirits, and the song of the Andoumboulou is a song addressed to the spirits, a funeral song, a song of rebirth. "Mu," too, splays with meaning: muni bird, Greek muthos, a Sun Ra tune, a continent once thought to have existed in the Pacific. With the vibrancy of a Miró painting, Mackey's poems trace the lost tribe of "we" through waking and dream time, through a multitude of geographies, cultures, histories, and musical traditions, as poetry here serves as the intersection of everything, myth's music, spirit lift.
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