- Michelle Habell-Pallán
Florida-born Nathaniel Mackey was raised in California, graduated from Princeton University with high honors, and earned a PhD in English and American literature in 1975. From 1976 to 1979 he was director of Black studies at the University of Southern California and assistant professor in both the English department and the ethnic studies program. He joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1979, where he is a professor of American literature.
Evidence of the Black diaspora echoes throughout his writings His poetry prose and essays situate African American poetry in diverse poetic and cultural traditions North American African Caribbean and to some extent Latin American He argues that these poetic traditions reciprocally influence each other The formal experimentation in his writing disrupts any notion that either African American poetry or poetry produced by either white or non white Americans is created in an ahistorical ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature.