Author: Nathaniel Mackey
Publisher: Anomalous Press (2014)
Edition of 100
Drawing inspiration and language from such spiritual traditions as Hinduism, Gnosticism, and the Dogon of Mali, Outer Pradesh is a brand new collection of poetry from American poet Nathaniel Mackey. These five poems sing the sacred and profane, blurring their definitions in moments of self-reflection and altered states of consciousness. The book’s epigraph is Jean Toomer’s assertion of modernist open-endedness and generic not-belonging: "There is no end to ‘out.'" Mackey applies this endlessly outward-going passage to an ecstatic, exilic experience, as a group of travelers — a ‘philosophical posse’ — makes its way across an Indian province. What they and we encounter on this journey is a pre-history embodied by ‘old-time people’ whose songs must be heard. Together we find ourselves within an improvised social continuum that grows larger, stranger, more remote, and more consoling at every turn. Memory becomes a site of social commentary and collective vision. Mackey’s epic of fugitivity forms a stunning meditation on being.