In MEMPHIS SHOALS, the second volume in Brad Crenshaw’s extravagant epic poem that began with his book Genealogies, we return with Bartlett Smith, narrator of both books, to Memphis, Tennessee, where Smith confronts his personal demons and those of his long-lived extended family. Like his adoptive father, John Elam, a sixteenth-century privateer rendered immortal by his Native American wife, Sarah, Bartlett Smith circumnavigates the world’s seas, only to return to the place his journey began. There he confronts the murderous tempests of passion and desire, and the faulty, but enduring consolations of kinship, forgiveness, and love.
Brad Crenshaw received both his MFA and PhD in English from the University of California, Irvine. He later obtained a second PhD in clinical psychology and neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts, where he taught neuropsychology in the graduate psychology program. For many years he worked as a neuropsychologist in a New England medical center. His poems and critical articles have appeared in various magazines, including Chicago Review, Parnassus, Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, The Formalist, The Sandhills Review, Illinois Quarterly, Faultline, and others. Greenhouse Review Press published his first book, MY GARGANTUAN DESIRE, in addition to MEMPHIS SHOALS, GENEALOGIES, and a chapbook, Limits of Resurrection. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and in Santa Cruz, California.