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In the personal and critical essays of Mapping the Heart, Wesley McNair, one of New England's most important poets, reveals the impact of place on his own poetry and the verse of several other New Englanders, past to present. He also explains the ways poets of his climate have influenced each other, how poets think about their craft, and what poetry is.
About the Author
The recipient of grants from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations, WESLEY MCNAIR has held an NEH Fellowship in Literature, and two NEA Fellowships for Creative Writers. He has won the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry; the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest; and the 1997 Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, among other honors. The editor of The Quotable Moose: Contemporary Maine Writing, he is the author of five books of poetry, the first of which, The Faces of Americans in 1853, was selected as a Classic Contemporary by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His tow most recent volumes are Fire and Talking in the Dark (David R. Godine, Publisher). He is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Maine at Farmington and lives with his wife Diane in Mercer, Maine.
Table of Contents
John Haines and Vocation
Discovering Emily Dickinson
Letters from a Poet
Advice for Beginning Poets
Taking the World for Granite: Four Poets in New Hampshire
A Government of Two
Talking about Vermont: Hayden Carruth's Poetic Voice
The Triumph of Robert Francis
Robert Frost and Dramatic Speech
PLACES IN THE DARK
Dark Dreams, Dark Sayings
Places in the Dark
My Finite Eyes
Notes on Poets, Poets Teaching, and Poetry
The Forest and the Trees: Four Seasons from a Journal about Place and Poetry
What People are Saying About This
"In Mapping the Heart Wesley McNair presents lively and engaging essays that explore the craft of poetry in our time. The author, himself a splendid poet, understands poetry from the inside as only an accomplished writer can. McNair enlivens his critical reflections with memorable character sketches and counterpoints his meditations on poetry with humorous anecdotes about people and places. Anyone with an interest in poetry should relish this book."
"Mapping the Heart, a collection of essays from the heart, pulses with the empathy its author feels for his subjects: the poets and landscape of New England. McNair holds nothing back from the reader, not his own difficult and impoverished childhood, not the long dry times between books of poems as he was forced to juggle home, academia, and poetry in a tight arc. To Emily Dickinson he brings a refreshing approach, to Robert Francis an overdue homage. This is a rewarding book, brightened by McNair's lively candor."