Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde


by Dawn Lundy Martin

The recent Boston Review issue on “Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde,” brings together a range of poets and scholars including Erica Hunt, Prageeta Sharma, Cathy Park Hong, Daniel Borzutsky, and Simone White–all of whom will appear in a special upcoming issue of boundary2 on “Race and Innovation”–to consider the long held cultural belief that “black” poetry and “avant-garde” poetry are necessarily in separate orbits.

Both the Boston Review issue and the upcoming boundary2 issue find particular urgency in thinking through considerations of race and experimental poetics as the current controversy around Kenneth Goldsmith’s conceptual art piece (in which he reads the Michael Brown autopsy report) continues to raise questions about the black body, expendability, and how poets might speak in ways that refuse reproductions of race, gender, and class hierarchies. 


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