Today's poem is "Charles by Accident"

from Fire

David R. Godine, publisher

Wesley McNair's poems appear in five book-length collections, the last four of which, including Fire, have been published by David R. Godine. A recipient of grants from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim foundations, he has won two NEA fellowships, the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry magazine, and the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest. He is the author of a volume of essays on place and poetry, Mapping the Heart, and the editor of The Quotable Moose, an anthology of contemporary Maine writing. The director of the creative writing program at the University of Maine in Farmington, he teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program.

About Fire:

In this collection, Wesley McNair's fifth, he writes on a wide range of subjects, from cigarette-smoking in old movies, to an executive's torments in hell, to sobering memories of childhood and youth. The book culminates with the ambitious and moving title piece, a narrative about a family's destruction, a son's attempt at reconciliation with his mother, and their trip across the country to a family reunion and her revealing past. Fire is one of McNair's most beautifully constructed volumes of poetry, exquisite not only in the careful balance of its structure — of long poems against short, of personal against universal, of descriptive against reflective — but also in the authentic cadence of a true New England voice that resounds through every line.
(from the book jacket)

Praise for previous volumes by Wesley McNair:

The Town of No: "He has a gorgeous ear for the rubbing-together of adjacent words...McNair is a New England poet, preserving the speech and character of a region intimately known. Because he is a true poet, his New England is unlimited. Whole lives fill small lines, real to this poet and real to us."
— Donald Hall

My Brother Running:
"Not a word is out of place...whatever regional cast the poems have is much less noticeable than the powerful moments of realization and description that make these poems live."
—Henry Taylor, The Washington Times

Talking in the Dark:
"...one of the year's most significant poetic achievements."
—The Minneapolis Star Tribune

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