by Nathan McClain
Four Way Books, 2022
Paper: 978-1-954245-26-6 | eISBN: 978-1-954245-39-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3613.C35724P74 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

In his daring sophomore collection, Nathan McClain interrogates his speaker's American heritage, history, and responsibility. Investigating myth, popular culture, governance, and more, Previously Owned connects a villanelle cataloging Sisyphus's circular workflow to a Die Hard persona poem critiquing police brutality and joins complex pastorals to the stunning sequence entitled "They said I was an alternate," which recounts the author's experience serving on jury duty. Though McClain's muscular lyric explores a wide range of topics, the intensity of his attention and the profundity of his care remain constant-the final page describes a young girl in a diner, ringing the bell at the host stand, "just to hear it sing, the same / song, the only song // it knows." Insofar as this collection scrutinizes one's own culpability and responsibility in this country, interested in the natural world and beauty, as well as what beauty distracts us from, it does so in the hopes of reimagining inheritance, of leaving our children a different song.

See other books on: African American & Black | Death, Grief, Loss | McClain, Nathan | Poetry | Subjects & Themes
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