Nathaniel Mackey

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Nathaniel Mackey is an American poet, novelist, anthologist, literary critic, editor and Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Mackey is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

He has been editor and publisher of Hambone since 1982.


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Poetry
  • 3 Fiction
  • 4 Criticism and editing
  • 5 External links


Nathaniel Mackey was born in 1947 in Miami, Florida. He obtained his B.A. from Princeton University and his PhD from Stanford University. He has taught and lived in Santa Cruz since 1979.


Mackey's books of poetry include Four for Trane (1978); Septet for the End of Time (1983); Eroding Witness (1985), which was selected for the National Poetry Series; Outlandish (1992); School of Udhra (1993); Song of the Andoumboulou: 18-20 (1994); Whatsaid Serif (1998); and, most recently, Splay Anthem, which was awarded the 2006 National Book Award in poetry.

Mackey’s poetry combines African mythology, African-American musical traditions, and Modernist poetic experiment. His several ongoing serial projects explore the relationship of poetry and historical memory, as well as the ritual power of poetry and song.


Mackey has published three volumes of an ongoing prose project entitled, From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Atet A. D. (2001), Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993), and Bedouin Hornbook (1986).

Criticism and editing

Mackey is the author of Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993), an influential book of literary theory, and more recently of Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (2004). He has edited the avant-garde literary journal Hambone for more than 15 years, and co-edited Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose with Art Lange(1993).

  • Mackey's EPC author page
  • Groovedigit's Mackey page
  • Author Page at Internationales Literatufestival Berlin Mackey was a Guest of the ILB ( Internationales Literatufestival Berlin / Germany ) in 2005

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