Parnassus Books welcomes Gary McDowell as he reads from and signs Mysteries in a World That Think There Are None.
Poetry. Sometimes transcendent joy is sitting quietly and plainly in front of us. Or it arrives when we aren't looking for it. We may look at it or ponder it and simply blink—the stunned heart, the stunned mind. An epiphany is one thing, but being present for the beauty and kindness to be found in the ordinary world is something else. And to feel such beauty and kindness may be seeking us, inviting our regard, is indeed a mystery. Poetry, or art of some form, is one of the few responses one can make. Prayer is another, followed by silence. The poems in this fine book eloquently reveal the everyday mysteries all around us, and make it plain that any response deepens the heart—and that becomes a further mystery.
Gary McDowell is the author of five collections of poetry, including Weeping at a Stranger's Funeral and American Amen winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize in Poetry. He's also the co-editor, with F. Daniel Rzicznek, of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, The Nation, Gulf Coast, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and Colorado Review. He lives in Nashville with his family where he's an assistant professor of English at Belmont University.