Now Available from Pecan Grove Press:
ABOUT Gwyn McVay
About Gwyn McVay's Ordinary Beans:
"A restless, hyper-referential book, pressing through killer desert winds to coal countries; thoroughly situating and deracinating from Tonga to the Joisey Toinpike, and from kitchen sink to dojo. It is an odic elegy, it is an elegiac ode composed of Everything and nothing. Call it a fugue composed between states. It is a pot of no ordinary beans." —C.D. Wright
"A vividness and lushness of diction—that stubborn willingness to say whatever it takes to bring the poem alive for the reader—distinguishes Gwyn McVay’s poems from the vast majority of young poets publishing today. Combined with a serious and politically charged regard for our world, these poems are mature artistically as well as intellectually. When I came to the end, I wanted more." —Bruce Weigl
|And also available from Pecan Grove Press:
This Natural History
"Born in paradox, constructed against abstraction, This Natural History presents poems gloriously aware of their own materiality. Here, poetic artifice and the world of nature are not opposites; rather, poetry shows itself as necessarily part of the world around it. Avoiding generalization, Gwyn McVay always uncovers the particular word that experiences environmental detail even as it translates it, giving us a language that does not displace so much as respond."
"Note: Epicurean, in the sense of that old school's praise of engagement (and, if possible, harmony) with nature and a calm mind, hence relaxed in tone but precise in wording, the poems in This Natural History surprise with seemingly effortless leaps from the non-human to the human, and back again; and with questions we may not be able to answer but get a charge from thinking about. In a relatively brief, approximately sonnet-length poem McVay can take us from Japan's nishikigoi via Max Ernst's "reverse mermaid, scaled lamellar armor," Sacajawea and Venus, to the "polarized shades" of our decade (The Fishwife). Lovely, sharp, thought-provoking work.
"Gwyn McVay's poetry is deft and intent in the places where words touch the worldnot only in the certainty of naming, but in the ceaseless motion of metamorphosis. This Natural History names and renames the animals (lizards, humans, the genie in the seed). What's most exhilarating in these pages, though, is the breaking of names: McVay isn't satisfied to leave any creature caged. She opens the doors of the words, one by one, with her supple attention."
From Ordinary Beans by Gwyn McVay:
She liked me to say poems,
not her skull necklace—I liked that;
that had to be right, or she’d hiss
and stomp on tortured souls. So I chased peacocks,
changed daily under my tongue,
she said to me, All this time
Oh, I said, and she burst into flame.