Synopses & Reviews
An award-winning poet continues her exploration of the complexities of society, the intellect and the heart
From lyric, to narrative, to bardic, Linda McCarriston's poems continue to probe not simply the relations that bring us our joy and our anguish, but the contexts in which we experience both. Emotion remains the heart of these poems, but idea is the increasing frame as both narrative and motive are rewritten. With her characteristic honesty and energy, McCarristion creates fine and loving portrayals of animals, children, friendships and landscapes while taking on the difficult issues of family life and gender power structures. Drawing on new material, her recent experiences in Alaska come to represent, therefore, not an adventure in these poems, but an emigration as urgent as the previous generation's from County Down, Ireland.
"When political poetry succeeds, it usually does so through a broadly announced theme. McCarriston's . . . third collection, a rich amalgam of new work and a glorious smattering of poems from previous award-winning volumes, works in a more delicate fashion: through imagery . . . the merits and hazards of personal autonomy resound in poem after poem. . . . McCarriston's poetic gifts are many, the layered inversion of meaning ranking high among them. Provocative, finely wrought poems packing thematic punch with rare imagistic beauty."
"There is a clean quality to McCarriston's work that makes it seem like worked stone, as though everything unnecessary had been stripped away. Stripped and bare as they are, McCarriston's poems are also musical, with voices calling and answering to each other despite all obstacles. Despite palpable loss, this is ultimately a majestically hopeful book."
From lyric to narrative to bardic, Linda McCarriston's poems continue to probe not simply the encounters and relations that bring us joy and anguish but also the contexts in which we experience both. Exceptional among contemporary poets, McCarriston mobilizes feeling, thinking, and narrating simultaneously to create works of rich music, profound insight, and passion. With her characteristic honesty and energy, McCarriston draws from the lives of fellow human beings and from those of animals, too, the telling moments, metaphors, and myths of family life, social structures, and gender. Her recent experiences in Alaska come to represent, therefore, not so much an adventure as an emigration just as urgent as the previous generation's from County Down, Ireland.
About the Author
Linda McCarriston is the author of two award-winning collections of poetry, Talking Soft Dutch
. The latter was also published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. McCarriston holds both Irish and U.S. citizenship and lives and teaches in Anchorage, Alaska.
Table of Contents
Kitchen Terrarium: 1983
In Off the Cliffs of Mher
Stone Quarry: Late Capitalism Comes to the Remote West Coast of Ireland
At the Indian Store
Reading Ode to the West Wind 25 Years Later
At My House
Postcard: Louise to Thelma from Hippy Writing School
Ashtray: A Study
Alder Drive: Anchorage
In Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood
With the Horse in the Winter Pasture
Quincey's Harvest Moon
"Girl from Lynn Bathes Horse!"
Riding Out at Evening
Riding Moriah in October
Le Coursier de Jeanne D'Arc
A Thousand Genuflections
Two Stories for Angel on the 1st Anniversary of Her Sobriety
Elm Street: October 1977
Medicine for the Woman Betrayed
Swan Lake: Kenai Wilderness, Alaska
Song of the Scullery
"My Fellow Americans . . ."
Letter to the Daughter-in-Heart
Spring at the Bunting Institute, 1993