Here All Night
Here All Night
”Here’s Jill McDonough, Here All Night, belting out an endearing song of herself that is, as Whitman’s is, tuned in to some thrumming undercurrent of joy in all the mess that is America. The poems’ catalogue of the unwieldy stuff of domestic life ultimately insists that things are pretty good—love endures, friends come through, there’s plenty of gin. Unabashed and boisterous, McDonough’s voice also coos with gratitude and aching tenderness. A vital book in multiple senses: read it and feel more alive.”
Jill McDonough is the author of Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), Oh, James! (Seven Kitchens, 2012), Where You Live (Salt, 2012), and Reaper (Alice James, 2017). The recipient of three Pushcart prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston. Her fifth poetry collection, Here All Night, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.
“Once again, with immense foresight and lyricism, Jill McDonough proves herself a master of American vernacular. A superb conversationalist, a humanist, she shapes our foibles and triumphs into artful speech that is memorable for its celebration and embrace of humanity. In classrooms, in bars, in cities, Here All Night amplifies the cadences and edges of contemporary life as reported by one of its most gifted poets.”
“When you pick up a new book of poems that can make you laugh—snort, really—and weep on any page, you know you’ve struck gold. Assurance, bravura, empathic vulnerability—and a moral urgency—are at the heart of Jill McDonough’s work, in the Ming vase falling forever in rhymed couplets in a museum stairwell, in her poetry-student prisoners, in her wondrous joy in the love of her life, Josey. McDonough’s in-your-face lyrical voice—bumptious, lyrical, defiant, effervescent, refusing to be heartbroken—quakes at nothing, takes on anything (who else would dare Elizabeth Bishop’s classic poem on loss, ‘One Art,’ as McDonough does in ‘The Art of Finding’?) Her embrace is generous, and irreverent. Just when you couldn’t be blamed for thinking nothing’s sacred, Here All Night, reminds you anything could be.”
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