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*Nathaniel Mackey was born on this date in 1947. He is a Black poet and novelist. Mackey was born in Miami, Florida.
He received a B.A. from Princeton University and a PhD. from Stanford University. His books of poetry include Splay Anthem (New Directions, 2006), which won the 2006 National Book Award in Poetry; Whatsaid Serif (1998); Song of the Andoumboulou: 18-20 (1994); School of Udhra (1993); Outlandish (1992); Eroding Witness (1985), which was selected for the National Poetry Series; Septet for the End of Time (1983); and Four for Trane (1978).
He is also the author of an ongoing prose work, From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still, Emanate, of which three volumes have been published: Atet A. D. (2001), Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993), and Bedouin Hornbook (1986). The poet Robin Blaser has called Mackey's work "a brilliant renewal of and experiment with the language of our spiritual condition and a measure of what poetry gives in trust—' heart's/meat' and the rush of language to bear it."
Also a critic and literary theorist, Mackey is the author of Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993). He is the co-editor of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century (2000, with Carolyn Kizer, John Hollander, Robert Hass, and Marjorie Perloff) and Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (1993, with Art Lange). He also edits the magazine Hambone. In 1995, Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou 16-25, a compact disc recording of poems read with musical accompaniment, was released.
Nathaniel Mackey is a Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.