when they say you can’t go home again, what they mean is you were never there

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Advance praise for the book:

If future generations want to know what it meant to live in the belly of the beast at this moment in history, they would do well to read the poems of Marty McConnell. These are poems that bear witness and much more: they explore a remarkable range of human experiences and emotional registers. There is fiery condemnation of injustice and jubilant praise of everyday pleasures; there are voices from the margins and voices of privilege that burn with searing honesty; there is fragmented language that mirrors the fragmentation of our times, and there is language that speaks with the clarity of prophecy. Above all, there is love, of both a personal and political nature, that resonates with hope. I, for one, am grateful for the blaze of electricity in these poems, for the thunderstorms and lamplight which illuminate our darkness.

Martín Espada

new poetry collection, forthcoming december 2018

when they say you can’t go home again, what they mean is you were never there is Marty McConnell’s second full-length poetry collection and the winner of the Michael Waters Poetry Prize. Forthcoming in December 2018 on Southern Indiana University Press, the book posits such questions as what does it mean to be bodied in such a way that one is simultaneously weapon and target? To exist within a species tipping toward extinction? How do we navigate the landscape of our own damage, received and inflicted, in such a way as to move through individual survival and into a common joy?

The gift and the trap of the human body and its attachments to this world converge and dissolve in these poems of ecstatic music, animated rage, and wild, generative hope.

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