Wit and nihilism, deadpan intelligence, and candid examinations of human hungers abound in J.G. McClure’s The Fire Lit & Nearing. McClure’s smoldering poems take on the grind of time, obsessive love, manliness and its illusions, alternative fates, being and nothingness, and much more. His is a winning voice, dark and self-critical, a bit reminiscent of John Berryman’s, a brave and true voice one might dub melancholic/comic/heroic.
The recurrent mode of J.G. McClure’s The Fire Lit & Nearing is a version of lament and complaint (both with long distinguished poetic traditions), but this tone is relieved and complicated and enriched by McClure’s distinctive zaniness and invention, which gives the reader great enjoyment in this kind of “gaiety transfiguring all that dread” à la Yeats. This inventiveness also makes use of McClure’s intelligence in a fundamentally writerly way and communicates the mind-of-the-writer at work in an exhilarating act of making that extracts beauty even from human pain and despair.
J.G. McClure’s first book, The Fire Lit & Nearing, is a wild cosmically inclusive, sometimes surreal, sometimes hilarious but always compelling thought experiment about contingency as both a source of freedom and inescapable pain. These poems embody an irrepressible charm, a formal poise and wit that I find welcoming, even life affirming, even in the midst of sorrow. A truly beautiful book.
|Publisher:||Indolent Arts Foundation, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poems have appeared widely in Best
New Poets and the Gettysburg Review, among other journals. He lives in Northern Virginia with his cat, whom he loves and occasionally fears. The Fire Lit & Nearing (Indolent
Books) is his first collection.