Kerrin McCadden is the author of American Wake, coming in March, 2021, from Black Sparrow Press. Her debut collection, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, won the Vermont Book Award and the New Issues Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Keep This to Yourself, was awarded the Button Poetry Prize. McCadden has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and in such journals as American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. She is associate director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching at The Frost Place and associate poetry editor at Persea Books. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Montpelier High School in Vermont and lives in South Burlington.
March 23, 2021 from Black Sparrow Press
Advance praise for American Wake:
“Kerrin McCadden is haunted by her family’s migration from Ireland (“Hold a wake for the living, the leaving”) and tells a very American story in American Wake, a textured story of loss and gain, of what she calls “prodigal ghosts,” the Old World and the New World, too, the broken family patched together, somehow sustained, ongoing. This book slows things down that are speeding past and wakes us up to the past and present tense. I love its worried wakefulness.”
—Edward Hirsch, author of Stranger by Night
“Contrasting the luscious femininities of a Tess Gallagher in her peregrinations from Washington to Sligo with the stern abrasions of a Seamus Heaney translating himself from Station Island to Harvard, Kerrin McCadden’s American Wake explores in depth the repercussions of emigration from generation to tragic generation, at one point receding as far back as Cuchulain.”
—Medbh McGuckian, author of Marine Cloud Brightening
"The core of Kerrin McCadden’s music is a purifying sound that ritualizes grief but also posits joy and curiosity as vested markers of living fully in the face of difficult times. McCadden is a storyteller as much as a singer. American Wake navigates loss, no doubt, but with such unparalleled sensitivity and inventiveness that language becomes its own jubilant force of survival. A reader will find instructive the profound care and assuredness by which she handles family stories and shared memories that border on a kind holiness of singing and a shaping of sacred narratives."
—Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man
KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF
Winner of the 2019 Button Poetry Prize.
Praise for Keep This to Yourself:
In this devastating sequence of poems, Kerrin McCadden transforms tragedy into myth. Or at least attempts to—as so often happens, our dead refuse to stay dead. A river runs through this book, as well as the promise to come clean, which we sense can only end one way. A storm named heroin has taken possession of a family, as it has taken possession of many families—these poems are as close as I’ve come to standing inside this brittle, incomprehensible moment.
—Nick Flynn, author of I Will Destroy You
LANDSCAPE WITH PLYWOOD SILHOUETTES
Winner of the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize and the 2015 Vermont Book Award.
Praise for Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes:
Kerrin McCadden’s Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes is one of the most compelling and powerful debut collections in recent American poetry. These exquisite meditations on the lived life are often nothing less than stunning, and are at times truly devastating. This gorgeous collection is both mature and tender in its reckonings of our shifting relationships with family and loved ones. Kerrin McCadden is especially accomplished in considering those who’ve engaged in constructions of daily happiness only to discover that what they’d begun in dream has ended in quiet wreckage. Poem by poem, we are consoled by the poet’s remarkable reflective ease and her profound intimacy. The beauty of these of these poems is matched only by their sense of triumph in resilience, and its resulting peace.
—David St. John, author of The Last Troubador, contest judge
MARCH 3-7, 2021
Panel: MFA to ELA: Teaching K-12 Students, with Molly Sutton Kiefer, Kenyatta Rogers, Claire Wahmanholm, and William Archila). Details to come.
APRIL 15, 2021
I'll be reading at the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, Missouri (virtually). Details here.
Unbound Book Festival
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