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How many other poets make metaphors as multifaceted, as capacious? Taking its title from the Irish concept of a vigil “for the living, the leaving” — those setting off for better fortunes in America — McCadden uses colloquial and inventive forms to probe delicate familial webs, ancestral stories, her relationship with her beloved drug-addled brother, questions of home.— Ben
"The poems, plainspoken distillations of origins and loss, explore histories, teasing at what we know without knowing, and know without remembering we know. A book of quiet, watchful radiance."--The Boston Globe"Must-read poetry."--The Millions New from a poet whose astonishing images, emotional honesty, and storytelling power hold a singular clarity of vision. "American Wake navigates loss with such unparalleled sensitivity and inventiveness that language becomes its own jubilant force of survival."--Major Jackson An "American wake" is what the Irish call a farewell to those emigrating to the United States. A New England poet equally at home in Ireland, Kerrin McCadden explores family, death and grief, apologies, and all manner of departures. In the poem "In the Harbor," McCadden writes: When we are out to sea, we look back to see faces