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ISBN: 978-1-62557-903-4
Categories Poetry


Publication Date: June 2014


“In Marc McKee’s compelling new collection, Bewilderness, it’s not the past that’s a foreign country but the present-a world rendered strange to us because of the compounding forces of loss and tragedy, but also in the strangeness of ordinary events as seen through “special goggles” offering always a new vision into the heart of things. This is how the poet’s dazzling use of language transforms the world we have experienced into something extraordinary, where understudies rush to the fore/playing characters you recognize/but no longer know.”

-Natasha Trethewey

Each of the poems in Marc McKee’s Bewilderness suggests a vigilant mind struggling to make sense of the shifting, unknowable landscapes of modern life. Concerned especially with the vagaries of perception and existential uncertainty, McKee writes with bravura, wonder, and anxious wit, longing for transcendence in a world that seems determined to resist it. “The score” he tells us, looking nervously around him, ‘was great and terrible. We almost loved everything.’ These poems sizzle with energy, intelligence, and the kind of humane beauty that struggles to hold off the dark.”

-Kevin Prufer

Before we encounter even the first poem, Marc McKee offers us, in his title, Bewilderness, both the injunction and the condition of his book. “Who is carbon-based with stars for ancestors” McKee writes, “and still not disappointed?” From the rapturous to the earthbound, the cerebral to the sensuous, McKee’s work thrills because of those edges he walks and often plunges from. This is a lush, wild tune of a collection, full of tanks and apples, human calamity and nearly super-human affections.”

-Kathy Fagan

About the Author

Marc McKee

Marc McKee is the author of one chapbook and four full-length collections of poetry: What Apocalypse?, winner of the 2008 New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest, and Fuse (2011), Bewilderness (2014), Consolationeer (2017), and Meta Meta Make-Belief (forthcoming, 2019), all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears in online and print journals such as American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Forklift, Ohio, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, Memorious, Sixth Finch, and others. He teaches at the University of Missouri, and is managing editor of the Missouri Review in Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.

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