mixed blood project

The Mixed Blood Project is now located at the University of California, Berkeley. In combination with the Holloway Series, Mixed Blood brings to campus writers whose work cuts deliberately across conventional literary and social categories.

The project itself is an aggressively cross-cultural poetry and talks series that was begun by a group of Penn State faculty members in 2002. During its Penn State years Mixed Blood featured readings and talks on poetics by Amiri Baraka, Kamau Brathwaite, Duriel Harris, Jen Hofer, Erica Hunt, Meta DuEwa Jones, Deborah Richards, Ed Roberson, Evie Shockley, and Juliana Spahr.

The above list of writers is a fair statement of the project’s range of concerns. As the list suggests, the Mixed Blood series is interested in the contemporary African-American avant-garde, writers who are experimenting with form and content in the long post-Black Arts moment; but it is also interested in experimental practices (post-L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, e.g.) more commonly associated with white writers. The series is quite unusual in its emphasis on literary innovation and its deliberate and very aggressive emphasis on race and the languages of and about race; it’s also an unusual series because it pairs talks by poets with their readings.

The publication, Mixed Blood, has come out twice. (A third issue–featuring work by visitors to Berkeley Wayde Compton, Brenda Coultas, and John Taggart, is in the works.) The issues are a record of the above-named writers’ time on campus. Mixed Blood is distributed to bookstores across the United States by the literary publisher, Dalkey Archive Press; it’s also sent, free of charge, to a wide range of public and university libraries. And it’s distributed at conferences, readings, and other public events by its editors—C. S. Giscombe, William J. Harris, Jeffrey Nealon, and Aldon Lynn Nielsen.

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