Mule, Shane McCrae


Shane McCrae

Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center
PubDate: 11/29/2010
ISBN: 9781880834930
Price: $15.95
Quantity Available: 49
Pages: 72
SKU #: N09C

Poetry. African American Studies. MULE is highly lyrical, obsessively incantatory, audaciously formal, and actually a very personal, very autobiographical book. In it, the author addresses his at the time failing second marriage (which he is no longer in), his son's autism, his own racial identity, and some of his beliefs about God.

"Some books come down like gods dying to transform us out of our empty, shattered lives. MULE 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

Author City: OBERLIN, OH USA

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. 

Reviews and Other Links
Victoria Chang @ Ron Slate's On the Seawall
Nancy Lili Gonzalez @ The Rumpus
Oliver de la Paz @ The Lit Pub
interview by Keith Montesano @ First BookInterview
interview by H. L. Hix @ In Quire
Lindsay Turner @ The Kenyon Review
Katherine Litwin: The Poetry Foundation staff'sfavorite books of 2011
Craig Blais @ The Southeast Review
interview by Chris Schacht @ Puerto del Bloga
Craig Blais @ The Southeast Review
PEN Center USA 2012 Literary Award in PoetryFinalist

“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

“In his first book, MULE, Shane McCrae admits us to the marriage of impediments (‘Half donkey and half human being’) in a country that too often insists on fracture over union. McCrae’s ‘mulatto’ sings us through mash-ups of race and class, even as he divorces us from ‘the bud and green of May,’ its more random cruelties and collateral damage. ‘You / Will recognize yourself in the singing you / Will not recognize yourself in the songs,’ he says, but (because he is a singer of prodigious gifts) we do—and in that inlet of recognition we are goners. MULE is a splendid and heartbreaking debut.”
—Rachel Loden

“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.”

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