We Were Once Here by Michael McFeeWe Were Once Here by Michael McFee

We Were Once Here

byMichael McFee

Paperback | February 14, 2017

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In We Were Once Here, Michael McFee continues to write inventive appreciations of often-overlooked subjects, particularly the people and language of his native Appalachia. This new collection contains thoughtful and playful celebrations of such things as snoring, a wall telephone from the 1960s, yardsticks, the Sunday newspaper, and Fats Waller. It also extends the poet’s characteristic lyric keenness into longer work, including a twenty-one-part centerpiece elegy for his niece. The book concludes with, and is framed by, poems that explore the bittersweet enduring joys of “here.”
MICHAEL MCFEE, a native of Asheville, North Carolina, has taught poetry writing at UNC-Chapel Hill since 1990. He is the author or editor of fifteen books: of his nine poetry collections, the previous four—That Was Oasis, Shinemaster, Earthly, and Colander, were published by Carnegie Mellon.
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Title:We Were Once HereFormat:PaperbackDimensions:88 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.68 inPublished:February 14, 2017Publisher:Carnegie Mellon University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887486207

ISBN - 13:9780887486203

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Reviews

Table of Contents

1.
I swan
Dew Rot
Cast-Iron Ghazal
Crick
Snoring
Burn
Roadside Table
Yardsticks
Beige Wall Telephone, 1960s
Straw Poll
Breaks
Yaller
Ambeer
Dead Man’s Pinch
The North Carolina Gazetteer
2.
Ashen
Scan: Stage 4
Metastasis
The Day of Her Diagnosis
Radiation
Quiet Room
O2
Palliative
The Best
Lucky Bible
“Stars in Your Crown”
Oh god
Clammy
Vigil’s End
Inboxes
Cremation
Ashes
Scattered
Buried
Is Love
Steam Room
3.
Fingal’s Cave
High Cross
Beggar’s Lice
Loggerhead Hatchling
Sunday Paper
The First
Dust to Dust
The Death of Randall Jarrell
The Roentgens
Frosted Windows in a Small-Town Presbyterian Church
Thirst
There, There
Sweet Chariot Car Wash
Ovation
The Massage
Fats Waller

Editorial Reviews

“Michael McFee’s voice gravitates toward place, its complications and cast iron realities. I mention cast iron, because his skillet ghazal for his grandmother is a memorable poem in this gathering. At the outset we are on familiar Appalachian ground, where the McFee family lineage can be traced and the poet moves confidently among the details of that history. He is preparing the reader for the passionate sequence that follows, detailing the death of his niece, for whom he cared in her last days. This is challenging territory for anyone, particularly a poet. How to render honestly, yet with all the poet's tools at hand, such an experience? McFee succeeds brilliantly. Having brought us through this ordeal, he concludes his collection with poems that push the metaphor of home and its boundaries even farther. We are journeying onward, exploring what “here” means, in all its mysteries and challenges.” - Kathryn Stripling Byer