Still sourcing and exploring two massive, braided streams of retrospective invention—‘Mu’ and Song of the Andoumboulou—Mackey’s liturgy falls and sprays and pools in Double Trio. Bottomless, modal, modular as McCoy Tyner’s matched, augmented threes, surfaces bloomed with turbulent, recombinant bottom like Bill Dixon’s double-bassed ensembles, Double Trio doesn’t culminate: it promises.
—Fred Moten

Three new books in a spectacular box carry the tradition of the long poem far into the 21st century with a “low-lit, slow-drag ebullience”

Available April 6, 2021

Double Trio

Poetry by Nathaniel Mackey

For thirty-five years the poet Nathaniel Mackey has been writing a long poem of fugitive-making like no other: two elegiac, intertwined serial poems—“Song of the Andoumboulou” and “Mu”—that follow a mysterious, migrant “we” through the rhythms and currents of the world with lyrical virtuosity and impassioned expectancy. In a note to this astonishing box set of new work, Mackey writes:

“I turned sixty-five within a couple of months of beginning to write Double Trio and I was within a couple of months of turning seventy-one when I finished it.… It was a period of distress and precarity inside and outside both. 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.”

Structured in part after the last three movements of John Coltrane’s Meditations—“Love,” “Consequence,” and “Serenity”—Double Trio stretches Mackey’s explorations and improvisations of free jazz into unprecedented poetic territory.

Buy from:

Paperback (published April 6, 2021)

ISBN
9780811230735
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
224

Nathaniel Mackey

Contemporary American poet

Still sourcing and exploring two massive, braided streams of retrospective invention—‘Mu’ and Song of the Andoumboulou—Mackey’s liturgy falls and sprays and pools in Double Trio. Bottomless, modal, modular as McCoy Tyner’s matched, augmented threes, surfaces bloomed with turbulent, recombinant bottom like Bill Dixon’s double-bassed ensembles, Double Trio doesn’t culminate: it promises.
—Fred Moten
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
Because of their crablike logic Mackey’s lines feel simultaneously abraded and buffed, their meanings fugitive, tremulous, mercurial. He is a lyric poet whose probing of wounds and the whir of words reaches into epic dimensions.
—John Palettella, The Nation
Mackey is doing what might be the most technically virtuosic rhythmo- syntactic work in the English language. No one comes close. I hope these two long poems never end.
—Mike Lala, Brooklyn Rail
Nathaniel Mackey is a poet of ongoingness involved in a kind of spiritualist or cosmic pursuit.
—Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post
Mackey’s major prose project is an experiment in serial fiction called From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate. It feels, sentence to sentence and page to page, like a work in the act of being created. It is not simply writing about jazz, but writing as jazz… There is a cliché about music writing, sometimes attributed to Thelonious Monk, among others: ‘ Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ If so, Nathaniel Mackey is compelled, rather than deterred, by the multiform madness of the enterprise. he is the Balanchine of the architecture dance.
—David Hajdu, The New York Times