Today's poem is "[Yes, I studied. Oftentimes, death]"
from Mad Cursive

Wordcraft of Oregon

Joshua McKinney is the author of two previous collections of poetry: Saunter, co-winner of the University of Georgia Press Poetry Series Open Competition in 2001, and The Novice Mourner, winner of the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize in 2005. He is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Saunter (Primitive Publications, 1998) and Permutations of the Gallery (Pavement Saw Press, 1996), winner of the Pavement Saw Chapbook Contest. His work has appeared widely in such journals as American Letters & Commentary, Boulevard, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, New American Writing, and many others. Other awards include a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Poetry. He teaches poetry writing and literature at California State University, Sacramento. He is a member of Senkakukan of Sacramento where he studies Mugai Ryu, Toyama Ryu, and the curriculum of the Zen Nihon Battado Renmei.

Other poems by Joshua McKinney in Verse Daily:
May 7, 2003:  "In Earnest" "Fall's gold is gone. The American..."

Books by Joshua McKinney:

Other poems on the web by Joshua McKinney:
"Near Song"
Three poems
Six poems
Three poems

Joshua McKinney's Website.

About Mad Cursive:

"The poems in Mad Cursive move gracefully between beauty and destruction, the essential real locale of poetry in our times. A mad swordsman inside a poet-seer, McKinney dares to locate what resembles, in my reading, spirit laid bare. In this truly elegant book, the remnant of our language negotiates a shadow world--that space between life and death--which is life on this earth. 'Inside sword we find word,' indeed. A truly courageous book."
—Claudia Keelan

"Joshua McKinney tells of two masters: one who liked to write while walking in 'a place unblurred by interruption' and one who ' preferred uneven ground.' When I think of McKinney's work, I see him as the second master--clearing a new path, or, as Pound said of Whitman, the one who broke 'the new wood.' In McKinney's post-bucolic interstitial landscape, flowers stand as ostiaries, the heat index reduces the Earth's archives to ash, and the spirit trembles like a leaf. 'What I thought beautiful was what died astray.' Though he leads us through foreboding realms of the imagination, McKinney's gentle-edged Taoist generosity is exceedingly redemptive, assuring, pointing us skyward and crying, 'look.' Here is a poet who has earned the title of 'master.'"
—D.A. Powell

"In an era of distress and shrillness, it takes courage and, more than courage, Grace, to speak out boldly , unguardedly, for Balance. In the literal body of these new poems, Joshua McKinney articulates the mortal grandeur and (this is more poignant than I can rightly say) the tragedy of Balance. McKinney simply will not relinquish either past or present, love or bereavement, intellect or animal anguish, merely to accommodate the shrill urgings of our moment. Mad Cursive is therefore, and shall remain, a heroic collection."
—Donald Revell

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