This dossier on race and innovation collects some of the most compelling poets writing today who experiment otherhow, thereby enacting a range of poetics from the lexical to the visual intervention attending to this thing we call, “race.” What emerge from this special issue are, in Erica Hunt’s words, “new tropes,” “new rope a dopes,” toward a future that has yet to be imagined. Together, in a kind of protest against the horrific real, these poets say, we will not be reduced to merely documenting history. If, as Charles Bernstein notes, there is a new American avant-garde, this is it.
Contributors include Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Douglas Kearney, Ronaldo V. Wilson, Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda, Cathy Hong, Bhanu Kapil, Tonya Foster, Shane McRae, Hoa Nguyen, John Keene, Evie Shockley, Daniel Borzutzky, Vanessa Place, Fred Moten, Lauren Russell, Farid Matuk, Daniel Tiffany, Duriel Estelle Harris, Erica Hunt, Prageeta Sharma, Jayson Smith, Simone White, Lucas de Lima, and Tyrone Williams.
—Guest Editor Dawn Lundy Martin