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    Edward Carey: IMG 10 Best Books by Writer-Illustrators

    As a child who loved books I was fascinated by the illustrations just as much as the text. The same is true for me today, and I'm happy to be among... Continue »
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Scrap Iron (Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry)


Scrap Iron (Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

South Jersey farmland, flooded and made an island. Through landscapes and captivating visuals we begin Mark Jay Brewin’s debut collection of poems. Scrap Iron quickly and fluidly moves from this isolated plot of land—the poet’s childhood home—to the memories associated with that place, its people, and his youth. Throughout the volume, Brewin’s attention to sound and cadence offers the reader a burning exploration of beautiful imagery, while also providing a sharp contrast to the sometimes harsh and dark subject matter. He asks how one grows while remaining rooted. Confronting the age-old question of whether one can ever really go home again, Brewin’s soft, prayerful, and thoughtful approach provides the reader with an answer: Whether it is possible or not,

the wish to return will always remain.

The intricacies and complexities of human relationships—especially between family members—are at the forefront of Scrap Iron. Brewin acknowledges the tender violence that often exists within familial relationships and highlights the fragility of not only these connections, but of the land, of memory, and of the future. While some poems may focus on tenuous ties, the tone of Brewin’s work as a whole is one of hopefulness. His poetry reminds us that to move is not to abandon, to question is not to criticize, and to

love is to at once remember and forget.

About the Author

Mark Jay Brewin Jr. is a graduate of the MFA program of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His poems have been featured in Southern Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, Poet Lore, Cold Mountain Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others. He  as been a finalist for the Guy Owen Poetry Prize, the 2011 Third Coast Poetry Prize, and the New Letters Literary Award Contest, won the Yellowwood Poetry Contest at the Yalobusha Review, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Mark is currently the poetry editor for the online publication Saxifrage Press.

Table of Contents


“Water was always the problem surrounding”

Part I/Milking the Wasted Land

Burning Down the Camper

Jersey Devil

His Grandmother as a Wind Chime

Scrap Iron

Bivalve, Cumberland County

On Peeling Skin

Midnight Shift

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Pecking Order

Standing in the Atlantic Ocean with Tesla’s Pigeon

Palace Depression

Part II/Volleying Across the Showery Dark

So Intricate, So Inconceivably Complex

On Thunderstorms

Field Lessons

Working First Shift at the Progresso Soups Factory

The Island Meditations

 “Dew-matted mornings, I woke to my father”

 “Little scissor-snip scars the length of her fingers.”

 “So tell me, what’s it like over there? Tell me all about it.”

 “The way I was raised ‘ignorant’ only meant rude,”

 “It is an art I can only fake—how I prune pine boughs”

 “On the Bus-Eirann through Galway City center”

 “I have been here for months and still”

 “By the very nature of a trip, there is a departure”

Part III/Defending the Entrance to the Hereafter

A Bridge is Like a Tongue

The Same Idea


On Garages

Letter About My Last Night in Carbondale, Illinois

Seven Places I Have Found My Grandmother In The Last Six Years


Blackrock Diving Tower

Turkey Point


Product Details

Brewin, Mark Jay, Jr.
University of Utah Press
Brewin, Mark Jay
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.5 x 6 in
Age Level:
from 18 up to 80

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Scrap Iron (Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry) New Trade Paper
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