from Song of the Andoumboulou: 115

Nathaniel Mackey

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Nathaniel Mackey
Photo:
Paul Schraub

Nathaniel Mackey’s most recent poetry collection is Double Trio (New Directions, 2021), a boxed set of three new books: Tej Bet, So’s Notice and Nerve Church. Six books of poetry preceded it, most recently Blue Fasa (New Directions, 2015). He is the editor of the literary magazine Hambone; coeditor, with Art Lange, of the anthology Moment’s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993); and coeditor, with Michael Bough, Kent Johnson and others, of the anthology Resist Much / Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance (Dispatches Editions/Spuyten Duyvil, 2017). His honors include the National Book Award for poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry from the Beinecke Library at Yale University.  

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.

"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

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