Mixed Blood is interested in the contemporary African-American avant-garde, writers experimenting with form and content in the post-Black Arts moment; but it is also interested in experimental practices (post-L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, Oulipo, etc.) more commonly associated with white writers. The publication--based on an ongoing Penn State readings and talks series--is unusual in its emphasis on literary innovation and its deliberate and very aggressive emphasis on race and the languages of and about race. This inaugural issue features new work by Erica Hunt, Juliana Spahr, Amiri Baraka, Jen Hofer, and Ed Roberson, Essays by the writers--on neo-colonialism, African-American verse practices, translation and cross-cultural collaboration, and more--are paired with their poems. From Amiri Baraka's essay: "Coming to New York, the fundamental thing was that we put together a kind of united front against academia, in terms of poetry. The different schools you heard about--the Beats, the New York School, the San Francisco School, the Black Mountain School--those were all young people like me who were looking not to write like the Pack-Simpson anthology, to try to write a different kind of poetry."