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Justin Mitchell

Justin Mitchell writes for Ply magazine and the Black Ballot Weekly Report.

Time for a New Dance

Today’s black neoliberals and progressives may instinctively reject the singular image of blackness in America put forth in The Black Power Mixtape, but they have no clear, affirmative conception of African-American identity of their own.


The term “writer’s writer” has always made me uncomfortable. On the one hand, it can be used to refer to a talented minor author who, for whatever reason, has acquired a cult following.

The Makings of An American

In the introduction to “Something Urgent I Have to Say to You,” a new critical biography of William Carlos Williams, Herbert Leibowitz writes, “What most distinguished Williams was his drive to turn himself into a masterful American poet.”

Making it New (Again)

In the beginning of Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down, Ishmael Reed’s hilarious parody of the dime store Western, Loop Garoo Kid offers his view of the novel as an art form: “No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild old men saddled by demons.”


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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