in conversation with Joseph Donahue

Wednesday, June 9
5:30 pm Central — FREE!

Join us for a conversation and reading with Nathaniel Mackey, to celebrate his two new publications: Double Trio (New Directions), a box set of three interrelated books that push Mackey’s long poem vision into new territory, and Fugitive Equation (Fonograf Editions), an album of sound and word exploration performed across two nights in London by the poet and the Creaking Breeze Ensemble. Together these works cement what so many have long known: that Mackey’s improvisational blend of free jazz and poetic seeking is without peer.

During this time, a certain disposition or dispensation came upon me that I would characterize or sum up with the words all day music. It was a time in which I wanted never not to be thinking between poetry and music, poetry and the daily or the everyday, the everyday and the alter-everyday. Philosophically and technically, the work meant to be always pertaining to the relation of parts to one another and of parts to an evolving whole.
—Nathaniel Mackey

At this special event, Mackey will appear in conversation with a fellow poet-explorer of the long poem, Joseph Donahue. Free to attend, registration required. We hope to “see” you there!

Books can be purchased either during the event or in advance from Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis; just click the button below. Fun Fact: Any and all books you purchase via this link help support Rain Taxi’s virtual event series—thank you!

About the Presenters

Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami, Florida, in 1947. He earned his BA from Princeton University and his PhD from Stanford University, and is the author of numerous books of poetry, including the National Book Award-winning Splay Anthem (2006) and Eroding Witness (1985), which was chosen for the National Poetry Series. He has also published several book-length installments of his ongoing prose work, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, which critic David Hajdu described as “not simply writing about jazz, but writing as jazz.” Mackey cites poets William Carlos Williams and Amiri Baraka, in addition to jazz musicians John Coltrane and Don Cherry, as early influences in his exploration of how language can be infused and informed by music. Also known for his editorial work and critical bent, Mackey has coedited the anthologies Moment’s Notice (1993) and American Poetry: The Twentieth Century (2000). His many honors and awards include the 2014 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the 2015 Bollingen Prize. From 2001 to 2007, he served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Mackey taught for many years at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University.

Nathaniel Mackey is a poet of ongoingness involved in a kind of spiritualist or cosmic pursuit.
—Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post

Mackey’s poetry is like an archive of all that the world forgot, what might have been had humans resisted the desire to enslave and colonize one another.
— Hua Hsu, The New Yorker

Mackey’s own rare combinations create an astonishing and resounding effect: his words go where music goes: a brilliant and major accomplishment.
—Don Share, The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize Citation

Joseph Donahue is the author of several poetry collections including Wind Maps I-VII (Talisman House, 2019) and Red Flash on a Black Field (Black Square Editions, 2015), as well as several works which are sections of his ongoing long poem Terra Lucida. He lives in Durham, NC and is Professor of the Practice of English at Duke University.