Catalog: McGovern Series

Our House Was on Fire

Our House Was on Fire

By Laura Van Prooyen

Our House Was on Fire is an arresting, beautiful, and deeply satisfying book of longing, yet longing for what can never be known. And that gives this collection its powerful complexity: what is wanted or contemplated is tempting, but impossible. True desire recognizes what one might lose and also what one must give. Much is given in this book, much of the poet’s mind and honest heart. Van Prooyen’s poems offer a celebration, a carefully laid out feast. -- Maurice Manning


The Rattling Window

The Rattling Window

By Catherine Staples

The poems in The Rattling Window reveal an imagination caught up in the wondrous ordinariness of simply being, knowing how complicated in fact such simplicity is. Staples manages this magic by the quality of her attention, the articulate, luminous sympathy she brings to whatever her eye takes in. Whether it’s a seashore, a field in winter, the “whiplong honeycomb casing of a snake,” or the astonishing, unforgettable thereness of a horse, it’s all illuminated by this poet’s “bright lines of light.” She speaks of “unearthly singing—just the wind in the ear of a whelk.” Of such singing—bringing the ordinary and the amazing into illuminating alignment—are these poems made. - Eamon Grennan


Blue Orange

Blue Orange

By Robert Grunst

In Robert Grunst’s poems the city’s forgotten signs rise from memory into mid-day light. Blue Orange conveys the luster of words, revealing both an older and brightened sense of the world. These poems are at once both shrewd and true.


Appetite for the Divine

Appetite for the Divine

By Christine Gelineau

In this series of long poems Christine Gelineau brings us the poetry of awakening, perception, birth, and seasons as well as loss, tragedy, and despair and shows that the whole universe beats with one heart (‘the systole-diastole of the cosmos’) as language somehow pursues truth (‘In the absence/ of answers meaning/ may yet find space/ to emerge’) where all things are a tale in themselves. Of the human reaching for understanding she asks questions which only the cosmos can answer: ‘What satiation would Eve have imagined/ as her teeth cleaved the apple?//What were we made for/ if not this appetite for the divine?’”


Light Thickens

Light Thickens

By Elizabeth Biller Chapman

"Elizabeth...writes with vigor and soul -- her luminous poems shine like beacons.”


The Joyful Dark

The Joyful Dark

By Michael Miller

Very promising – in fact full of achievement. Michael Miller is able to express his experiences, his feelings, his longings, very sensuously and accurately.


A Secret Room in Fall

A Secret Room in Fall

By Maria Terrone

Whether confronting heavy matters close to home and family, taking in gritty facets of the urban landscape, or bringing to sympathetic light anonymous, mainly female workers in the shadows and giving each her moment of perfectly articulated presence, Maria Terrone's poems are quietly insistent, recuperative acts of imagination. At times spiced by a wry humor, at times opening to small toughes of rapture ("I rise daily, a miracle"), A Secret Room in Fall suggests a world that is one "dense, resplendent cargo," of which the poet takes exacting, loving stock.


Crawlers

Crawlers

By Nathalie Anderson

The poems in Nathalie Anderson's Crawlers explore family, in its traditional sense and as a metaphor for the relationships of the world at large, mining dark and complicated truths. Anderson's imagery is densely beautiful, disarmingly rich. Hers is an expansive and generous poetry - desperately moving, meticulously crafted.


The Housing

The Housing

By A.V. Christie

In beautiful and mysterious poems, many-layered and intricate like the anatomical drawings of Vesalius, A.V. Christie creates the housing for a metaphysical realm pulled back from some far-off dream. But looking closely, we can see it's our familiar world, exquisitely delineated: the shelter of marriage, family, dwelling, not to forget the body, our first and primary housing.


Gatherings

Gatherings

By Jerry Harp

How wonderful, after so many theme-driven books of poetry, to read a real collection, a book in which every poem casts its own shadow. Jerry Harp is a poet of astonishing range, and the obsessions of Gatherings emerge quietly in poems through wistful, unsettling images, in lines that are tautly metrical or spun far across the page, as if to see what they might gather.


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