Two new books cut athwart shorthand categories—demographic rubrics, literary and cultural traditions, geopolitical and regional borders—not to obliterate or hypostatize national and/or other differences, but to adumbrate usefully the kinds of linkages, alliances, and related but not self-identical perspectives that can arise from intense conversation about mutually urgent matters among distant or near kin. Both books perform great service in the current urgency to “decolonize knowledge” and its productive institutions, especially in the area of poetry and literary scholarship; both make particular claims about the powers of poetry to express, represent, or otherwise affirm positive elements of historically disenfranchised people; and both could be said to be multiply authored, as both allow other voices to speak through them. In achieving such conduit status, these books bring many understudied and contemporary poets into the discourse of mainstream US academe as represented by its...

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