Erica Hunt Analysis

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Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Though known primarily as a poet, Erica Hunt has published two important essays on innovative poetics and race, “Notes for an Oppositional Poetics” in The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Politics (1990, edited by Charles Bernstein) and “Reflections on the Black Avant-Garde” in Tripwire magazine (Spring, 2002).


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Erica Hunt is relatively unknown within the community of innovative poetics, but her collaborative work with artist Allison Saar, Arcade, inspired other collaborations between writers and artists. Hunt is well known, however, within the field of philanthropy. In 2008, Spelman College honored her with its award for National Community Service.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Cummings, Allison. “Public Subjects: Race and the Critical Reception of Gwendolyn Brooks, Erica Hunt, and Harryette Mullen.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26, no. 2 (2005): 3-36. Discusses the impact of both the Black Arts movement and poststructuralism on the various ways African American woman poets have imagined their audiences and the assumptions and conventions different audiences bring to their texts.

Golding, Alan. “’Bodies Written Off’: Economies of Race and Gender in the Visual/Verbal Collaborative Clash of Erica Hunt’s and Alison Saar’s Arcade.” In We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics, edited by Laura Hinton and Cynthia Hogue. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002. Examines Arcade and the issues of race and gender.

Kinnahan, Linda A. Lyric Interventions: Feminism, Experimental Poetry, and Contemporary Discourse. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004. In the chapter on Arcade, Kinnahan argues that the artists use visual and verbal cues and assumptions to undercut race and gender as “natural” components of female identity.

Mullen, Harryette. Review of Arcade. Antioch Review 56, no. 2 (Spring, 1998): 244-245. Mullen emphasizes the way Hunt’s poems anguish over the erosion of private domains and public spaces under the assault of capitalism and retrogressive politics while Saar’s woodcuts expose the raw, visceral emotions contained in and emanating from the female body.