In the last two decades, African American poets working in innovative and avant‐garde forms have produced poetry focused upon the theme of racial objectification. Individual and collaborative projects by Dawn Lundy Martin, Duriel E. Harris, and Ronaldo V. Wilson, who write and perform together as the Black Took Collective, practice what this article calls a poetics of thingification: a poetry that draws attention to language's capacity for reification in general and for racial objectification in particular. Drawing upon thing theory and recent scholarship on race and avant‐garde poetry, this article focuses on Dawn Lundy Martin's poetics in order to demonstrate how poets combine innovative techniques with racial stereotypes to scrutinize hegemonic expectations at the level of poetic form, especially within the tradition of African American poetry. Rather than adopting the humanizing rhetoric and lyrical modes of conventional African American poetry, these poets use the trope of the objectified Black body to deconstruct linguistic processes of racial reification from within.

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