Praised by Maxine Kumin as a master craftsman and Philip Levine as one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry, Wesley McNair has selected for this volume a wide range of narratives, lyrics, and meditations. His subjects, as always, are ordinary people and the lives they lead; their hopes and sorrows, their struggles and triumphs, all providing insight into New England, America, and the more obscure geography of the human heart. McNair's verse - whether about the trauma of family conflict, the humor of popular culture, or the solace of place - represents a singular achievement, providing what the Ruminator Review called ''one of the most individual and original bodies of work by a poet of his generation.''
Although he has been writing and publishing poetry for over forty years, this volume constitutes his first book of selected poems, and here, the best of these forty years is displayed in a single volume. The world of McNair's poetry is real and palpable, rooted partially in his relationship with his parents, brother, and family, but even more strongly in New England's gritty soil and landscape.
In this, the fifth book published with this house, we see an overview of his work gathered from six previous books, along with ten new poems, a representative and exciting collection from one of the region's most accomplished and beloved poets. Paperback 160 pages