A.L. Nielsen is a poet / critic and is the Kelly Professor of American literature at Penn State University. His poetry collections include Heat Strings, Evacuation Routes, VEXT, Mixage, Mantic Semantic, Stepping Razor, A Brand New Beggar and Tray. His critical books include Reading Race, Black Chant and Integral Music. He is the editor of Lorenzo Thomas’s award-winning posthumous work, Don’t Deny My Name: Words, Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition.