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A Beat Beyond: Selected Prose of Major Jackson

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In this collection of essays, talks, and reviews, Major Jackson revels in the work of poetry not only to limn and assess the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of poets, but to amplify the controversies and inner conflicts that define our age: political unrest, climate crises, the fallout from bewildering traumas, and the social function of the art of poetry itself. Accessible and critically minded, Jackson returns to the poem as an unparalleled source of linguistic pleasure that structures a multilayered "lyric self." In his interviews, Jackson illustrates poetry's distinct ability to mediate the inexplicable while foregrounding the possibilities of human song.

Collected over several decades, these essays find Jackson praising mythmaking in Frank Bidart and Ai's poetry, expressing bafflement at the silence of white-identified poets in the cause of social and racial justice, unearthing the politics behind Gwendolyn Brooks's Pulitzer Prize, and marveling at the "hallucinatory speed of thought" in a diverse range of poets including Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Brenda Hillman, Afaa Michael Weaver, Forrest Gander, and Terrance Hayes. This collection passionately surveys the radical shifts of the art and notes poetry as a necessity for a modern sensibility.

ISBN-13: 9780472039067

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Publication Date: 08-02-2022

Pages: 184

Product Dimensions: 7.90h x 5.30w x 0.60d

Series: Poets on Poetry

Major Jackson is Professor of English, Director of Creative Writing, and Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University.

Amor Kohli is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University.