All Morning the Crows (Paperback)
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Poetry. Women's Studies. Kearney draws on her acute powers of observation, a lively curiosity, and her gift for gorgeous imagery to take us on a journey of personal exploration, discovery, and reconciliation. Surprising poems bring together the parallel but discreet worlds of humans and birds, which speak to each other across the gulf between them. With a knowledge of birds and their behavior sufficient to satisfy even the most demanding birder, but never alienating the casual observer, with wit, musicality, and her unflinching eye, Kearney gives us a page-turner we want never to end, its subject being the work in progress which is life and its abundant mysteries.
This book goes well beyond a metaphoric treatment of birds and their habits. Instead, their differing characteristics comprise a jumping-off point for a mythology of selfhood--a lens through which to examine and confront a personal history. The catalog of birds illustrates how happenstance and speculation determine who she is. Untranslatable and mysterious as any mythology, a various history of a changeable self accumulates in these inventive, charged, and often ecstatic poems. Meg Kearney's poems both delight and complicate--at heart a spirit as unknowable and evocative as the birds themselves.--Cleopatra Mathis
Against the backdrop of her parents' death, the trauma of the Towers, and pervasive self-doubt, a young woman traces her history of flight, offering a narrative of heartbreak spliced with humor and filtered through the raucous assemblages of birds which inhabit her, 'singing in the cage my bones make.' If birds provide music ('She just likes to say grackle, a crack-your- / knuckles, hard-candy word') and spiritual sustenance ('the soul is a sparrow'), they also allow the narrator to negotiate her habitat: 'Bird seed--it's in your hair, / my mother said, reaching for me.' Meg Kearney has crafted a dazzling book of personal transformations, moving and memorable.--Michael Waters
About the Author
In June 2021, The Word Works Press will publish Meg Kearney’s All Morning the Crows, winner of the 2020 Washington Prize for poetry. Meg’s most recent collection of poems for adults is The Ice Storm, a heroic crown (Green Linen Press Chapbook Series, 2020). Her most recent full-length collection of poems, Home By Now (Four Way Books), was winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award; it was also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. Meg is also author of An Unkindness of Ravens (BOA Editions Ltd., 2001) and a trilogy of verse novels for teens: The Secret of Me (2005); The Girl in the Mirror (2012); and When You Never Said Goodbye (2017), all from Persea Books. Meg’s picture book, Trouper (Scholastic, 2013) is illustrated by E.B. Lewis and won many accolades, including the 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Award and the Missouri Association of School Librarians’ Show Me Readers Award. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey chose Meg’s poem “Grackle” for the 2017 Best American Poetry anthology. Meg’s poetry has also been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac,” and has been published in myriad anthologies and literary journals. Meg is Founding Director of the Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. For eleven years prior to joining Pine Manor, she was Associate Director of the National Book Foundation (sponsor of the National Book Awards) in New York City. She also taught poetry at the New School University. A native New Yorker, Meg currently resides in New Hampshire.