National Poetry Month Spotlight: Nick McRae

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!
Today’s featured poet is Nick McRae, whose collection Mountain Redemption won the Fall, 2011 Black River Chapbook Competition.

Drawl Mountain Redemption by Nick McRae
Sweet sorghum on a lover’s tongue
Fresh briar marks on her thighs
Black beetles cased in cedar sap
———with new-hatched dragonflies
A knife wound stanched with masking tape
A bin of cottonseed
One boy’s fist on another’s jaw
Bone shards in chicken feed
What thoroughness    What cleanliness
An altar glazed with wax
Deer trails through the dark pine woods
Abandoned railroad tracks
On crumpled onionskin the words
———of Christ like sunburn scars
Liquor drawn from sweet corn mash
The black between the stars
Nick has chosen to introduce “Punctum: Transom” by Carolina Ebeid.
He says:  I have often found myself unfairly skeptical of prose poems when I come across them. It’s something I’m working on. This poem by Carolina Ebeid, however, I fell in love with instantly. The cool clarity of the language is beautiful, undeniably poetry and undeniably suited to the unlined shape of prose. It’s just the gorgeous medicine that a repentant prose-poem naysayer like me needs knocking around in his head.
NickMWeb00Nick McRae is the author of Mountain Redemption (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) and The Name Museum (C&R Press, 2014). He is editor of Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets (Sundress Publications, 2013). His poems have appeared in Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, Third Coast, and other journals. Nick is associate editor of 32 Poems and Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas.