Syntax is the facility of the soul, O Hara taught us, and somehow in the first decade of the 21st century, our poets decided to separate syntax and what compels us, as if the two weren t of the same element as if we read no Berryman and memorized no Shakespeare, and as if their punctuation did not stop our breath! What a joy now to discover a voice such as Shane McCrae's, who in this first decade of a new century finds his new music, and compels us with its outbursts and heartbreak and yells and stuttering of joy and its sudden clarity of perception that is like no other. Shane McCrae is a master. --Ilya Kaminsky
Some books come down like gods dying to transform us out of our empty, shattered lives. Mule,/i> is such a book. Never shying away from sudden confusions of pain and beauty, Shane McCrae's questions are not why so much pain? why so much beauty? but, instead, how can they remake us? McCrae's is a living, breathing poetry made of wisdom and wrenching song. --Katie Ford
This astonishing, extremely beautiful book is, in a way, a new twist on the epithalamion, tracing the innumerable and inescapable marriages that fissure our lives. And it traces them with an eerie repetitive force that, while echoing the edgier experiments of Modernism, still manages to feel utterly unfamiliar. It's a book both haunted and haunting possessed by sound and its tremendous momentum, that somehow-suspended momentum, hypnotic in its rhythms and compelling in its headlong fall into the truth of the heart. --Cole Swenson
About the Author
Shane McCrae is the author of FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS (Factory Hollow Press, 2014), NONFICTION (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), BLOOD (Noemi Press, 2013), and MULE (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010), and the chapbooks IN CANAAN (Rescue Press, 2011) and One Neither One
(Octopus Books, 2009). He has received a Whiting Writing's Award and a fellowship from the NEA. He teaches at Oberlin College and in the brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University.