From Publishers Weekly
In his intense and mournful fifth collection, Shepherd (Some Are Drowning
) mixes myth, TV, street lingo and fidelity to the poetic tradition to create poems that elegize a world which, as in the phenomenon after which the book is titled, is distorted and bent out of shape. Opening with a series of stunning, possibly autobiographical revisions of the Orpheus/Persephone myth ("One death/ or another every day, Tanqueray bottles/ halo the bed and she won't wake up/ all weekend"), Shepherd continues through cautionary tales for an era when almost everything seems unsafe ("I left my love of me behind/ to fester in the slough of cast-off self/ -regard, with other toxic wastes, condoms/ I forgot") and redressed literature for a darkened age ("Ophelia/ sings flowers in hell to all the goodnight/ ladies"). A 9/11 poem confesses to the obsession TV engenders: "I have watched twin towers fall/ a dozen times." Shepherd's rigid stanzas and ear for music in a minor key spread this bad news beautifully. (Feb.)
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“In his intense and mournful fifth collection, Shepherd mixes myth, TV, street lingo and fidelity to the poetic tradition to create poems that elegize a world which, as in the phenomenon after which the book is titled, is distorted and bent out of shape. . . Stunning. . . . Shepherd’s rigid stanzas and ear for music in a minor key spread [bad] news beautifully.”
"At times wistful, at times adventurous, Fata Morgana dares to offer different perspective of Eve's first awakening, hidden history within the Sahara desert, and the dust that is all that remains of humans and stars in the sky alike. Highly recommended."
-- Wisconsin Book Watch
”Ultiimately, what makes ‘Fata Morgana’ so heartening is in how it writes its way from lack to love: for it’s knowledge gained by his journey that enables Shepherd’s speaker to declare with such perfect certainty ‘We have come to the end of the body / and the body doesn’t end.”
--Lambda Book Report