Literary Nonfiction. Poetry History & Criticism. African American Studies. Introduction by Juliana Spahr. Six years after Harryette Mullen and Barbara Henning first met at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, Henning proposed she do a postcard-format interview of Mullen that would allow for a "very small postcard space in which to respond...[t]he idea of cards flying through the mail & overlapping." Thus began what is now LOOKING UP HARRYETTE MULLEN, unique collaborative conversations that offer a candid look at the influences, politics, and poetics that inform Mullen's poetry. The conversation expands even further in the second set of spoken interviews that include concerns as far-ranging as the Heaven's Gate cult, Oulipian constraints such as S + 7 and lipograms, syllabic rhymes, and Aimé Césaire. In stunning detail, Mullen and Henning discuss the origins of each poem in Mullen's highly acclaimed collection Sleeping with the Dictionary. For poets and readers of poetry interested in witnessing how a brilliant, singular writer embarks on the journey of generating work to scholars researching the inception of Mullen's poems, this book informs by way of technique and vitality.
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Barbara Henning's books include DIGIGRAM (United Artists Books, 2020), Just Like That (2018), A Day Like Today (2015), A SWIFT PASSAGE (Quale Press, 2013), LOOKING UP HARRYETTE MULLEN (Belladonna*, 2011), and Cities and Memory (2010). Her current project is a hybrid documentary on her mother's life, Look At Me—I Lived: Ferne, a Detroit Story (1921-1960). Henning is the editor and publisher of Long News Magazine and Books. She is also the editor of Prompt Book: Experiments for Writing Poetry and Fiction (Spuyten Duyvil 2020). Born in Detroit, she lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Long Island University. Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA