Today's poem is "The Gospel of Leaving"
from The Next Place

Iris Press

Al Maginnes's biography was born in Massachusetts and grew up in a number of states, mostly in the southeast. A former recipient of an Artist's Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, he has degrees in English and writing from East Carolina University and the University of Arkansas. He is the author of six full length collections, most recently Music From Small Towns Jacar Press, 2014), winner of the Jacar Press poetry competition, and Inventing Constellations (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012), as well as four chapbooks. He lives with his family in Raleigh, North Carolina and teaches at Wake Technical Community College.

Other poems by Al Maginnes in Verse Daily:
March 17, 2012:   "The Edge of the Field" "It was not so hard believing in the end..."
September 24, 2008:   "My Lives" "In one I was a dog, reason enough..."
November 13, 2005:   "Toolshed" " Given enough space, each man believes..."

Books by Al Maginnes:

Other poems on the web by Al Maginnes:
Five poems
Two poems
Four poems
Three poems
"The Drowned"

Al Maginnes on Facebook.

About The Next Place:

"In his new collection The Next Place, Al Maginnes weaves together stories and his own brand of extended figurative tropes to construct poems that speak wisely and with authenticity of this world in which none of us are 'fully haunted or forgiven.' These new poems find beauty and solace in the idea that despite everything we can remain 'willing / to risk burning and drowning at the same time' just to be here, experiencing this place and imagining the next, where lovemaking might offer 'one way of resolving time' and each of us can hope to be or become 'a player silent with the possibility of song.' In both their music and their wisdom, these new poems by Al Maginnes speak of places both 'luminous and capable / of handling any hope.'"
—George Looney

"'If you want to write, you must court / the combustion,' Al Maginnes' narrator instructs, and that is exactly what, poem after poem, this ambitious collection does, infused throughout with the heat and light—the sweat and spirit—of experienced wisdom. In collection after collection, Maginnes' poetry digs deeper into his passions—for family, for community, for labor, for loss and love. The poems in The Next Place demonstrate depth of understanding and empathy with a breadth of reference that can intimately inhabit Shakespeare and Newton, the cosmos and 'the last dive in town,' expertly crafted in luminously lyrical verse that aches and celebrates, and aches some more. The Next Place represents the best of what contemporary poetry can offer, and these are poems of not only a grown man, but of a good man. Reading them makes us better, too, because, the collection convinces us, that, in spite of the scars and the sacrifices, 'we have no choice but to love.'"
—Philip Terman

"These poems may zoom in on the 'small matters' of daily life, but Al Maginnes asks the big questions in The Next Place, questions of what a person leaves behind during a lifetime. In these poems of cemeteries, funeral pyres, fatherhood, and sobriety we encounter harbingers, ghosts, obituaries, and prayers. We are reminded that '[t]he myth says // we all get one more chance.'"
—Sandy Longhorn

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