Douglas Kearney Archive

The Peculiar Ritual of Poetry Readings in Douglas Kearney’s Optic Subwoof

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By looking at the institution of poetry readings, the peculiar ritual in which the poet is both the priest and the sacrifice, Kearney goes where other writers should follow.

The Labor of Being Black

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When a defense attorney asked Donald Williams II, a Black man and witness to the lynching of George Floyd, if he got “angrier and angrier,” Williams responded, “I grew professional and professional.” Such racial performance and linguistic inventiveness are on display in poems by Douglas Kearney and Yusef Komunyakaa.

Douglas Kearney and the 21st Century Remix

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I was at a lecture recently about The Iliad—that beloved epic gorefest—when the scholar discussing the text referred to its author as “DJ Homer.” It wasn’t so much that Homer composed the text of The Iliad, he said. It was more that he remixed old stories that had been