The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be forms an extended consideration not only of Harryette Mullen's own work, methods, and interests as a poet, but also of issues of central importance to African American poetry and language, women's voices, and the future of poetry.
Together, these essays and interviews highlight the impulses and influences that drive Mullen's work as a poet and thinker, and suggest unique possibilities for the future of poetic language and its role as an instrument of identity and power.
Harryette Mullen teaches American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing at UCLA. She is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge, winner of a PEN Beyond Margins Award. Her book Sleeping with the Dictionary was a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Polish, German, Swedish, Turkish, and Bulgarian.