Synopses & Reviews
“Harryette Mullen is a magician of words, phrases, and songs . . . No voice in contemporary poetry is quite as original, cosmopolitan, witty, and tragic.” —Susan Stewart, citation for the Academy of American Poets Fellowship
Urban tumbleweed, some people call it,
discarded plastic bag we see in every city
blown down the street with vagrant wind.
—from Urban Tumbleweed
Urban Tumbleweed is the poet Harryette Mullens exploration of spaces where the city and the natural world collide. Written out of a daily practice of walking, Mullens stanzas adapt the traditional Japanese tanka, a poetic form suited for recording fleeting impressions, describing environmental transitions, and contemplating the human beings place in the natural world. But, as she writes in her preface, “What is natural about being human? What to make of a city dweller taking a ‘nature walk in a public park while listening to a podcast with ear-bud headphones?”
About the Author
Harryette Mullen is the author of seven books, including Recyclopedia and Sleeping with the Dictionary. She teaches in the English department and African American Studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles.