Poetry. In his second book, Michael Earl Craig blurs the line between documentary and imagination. The result is a mutilation of pastoral myths—a man who has ignored horses his whole life but now wants to try touching one, or two gay donkeys and their uneventful lives on the high plains—but also a tribute to the current-day West in which this author lives and writes. Objects frequently take center stage: a new and revered anvil, a black derby "soft as a colt's nose," a series of worshipfully described wristwatches. YES, MASTER sketches a slightly dented mental landscape touched by odd details and sharp mood swings. Speakers/characters bottom out now and again, dreaming of new or lost worlds, going off on rants or into deep sleeps, wanting desperately "to tell a story with the authority of mallets," settling for "feeling like a turd washed up on the shore of a quiet lake."
John Deming @ Coldfrontinterview by Andrew James Weatherhead @ Bookslutinterview by Zachary Schomburg @ HTMLGIANTSeth Abramson @ The Huffington Post
Michael Earl Craig is from Dayton, Ohio, home of the gas mask and the mood ring. He is the author of IGGY HORSE (Wave Books, 2023) WOODS AND CLOUDS INTERCHANGEABLE (Wave Books, 2019), TALKATIVENESS (Wave Books, 2014), THIN KIMONO (Wave Books, 2010), YES, MASTER (Fence Books, 2006), Can You Relax In My House, (Fence Books, 2002), and the chapbook Jombang Jet (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). He lives in Montana, where he makes his living as a farrier. He was the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Montana.