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On Knowing: Quasi-intelligibility, or Good-bye National Poetry Month! May 3, 2013: In On Photography, Susan Sontag discusses Walter Benjamin’s ideal work of literary criticism. According to Sontag, for Benjamin, the ideal work of literary of criticism would be made up of nothing [...] by

Our Slaves: Caring for Masters, Deforming Mastery (Part 2 of 2) May 2, 2013: “Cape Coast Castle,” a poem in Yusef Komunyakaa’s Chameleon Couch (his most recent book), begins with a haunting. The speaker of poem declares in the first line: “I made love to you, & it [...] by

Our Slaves: Caring for Masters, Deforming Mastery (Part 1 of 2) May 1, 2013: This post is a continuation of the conversation I started last week with the same title. There’s so much that can be written on both Natasha Trethewey’s “Native Guard” and Yusef [...] by

Our Slaves: Meditations on the Traffic of Black Bodies in Print (Part 2 of 2) April 25, 2013: I want to think through these questions raised in my last post a bit differently than Saidiya Hartman and Toni Morrison. Their investigation tends to focus upon the playing in the dark archive of [...] by

Our Slaves: Meditations on the Traffic of Black Bodies in Print (Part 1 of 2) April 24, 2013: April 18, 2013 The Chicago River is swollen; and for the first time in over a century, they are allowing it to flow into Lake Michigan, the lake that provides the city’s drinking water. A [...] by

Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future (3 of 3) April 17, 2013: [continued from part 1, and part 2] AND WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MAKING POEMS OR ART? I’m sorry I just got distracted trying to figure out if Diddy, of “I created the remix” fame, was [...] by

Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future (2 of 3) April 16, 2013: [continued from part 1] LADDER FOR BOOKER T. WASHINGTON This section header from Terrance Hayes’s “Arbor for Butch” reads as both dedication and a humorous, signifying/subverting of Booker [...] by

Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future (1 of 3) April 15, 2013: It’s April in Chicago which means it feels like January in east Texas which means it’s still rather cold for a Southerner, which is the way I’ve come to think of myself though I was born and [...] by