Poets of color have come to see how conventional modes of writing about race can ironically restrict and limit their own self-expression. The next step is not to “transcend” or “get beyond” race but to burrow more deeply into its structures of meaning, to see how race is embedded not just in our bodies but in our language. In such work, we cannot take comfort in our own politically righteous positions or exempt ourselves and our own language from scrutiny, for racial discourse constructs us as much as we construct it. Such writing is risky, but it may also be a place for the work of white and non-white writers to meet in a critical landscape.

- Timothy Yu at Evening Will Come: A Roundtable on Race & Poetry from October 2011