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Early Hour

ISBN: 9781556595073
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: 2017-08-15
Number of pages: 80
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  • Regular price $25.99

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“It’s [McGriff’s] language that keeps you reading along, transfixed.”—New York Times Book Review

“A lyricist at heart, McGriff is a masterful maker of metaphor.” —Third Coast

“McGriff’s vivid grit remains hard to gainsay.”—Publishers Weekly

A book-length sequence inspired by the Nazi-persecuted German Expressionist painter Karl Hofer’s work, McGriff’s third collection meditates on eros, cosmology, independence, provenance, “occupied territories,” and deviance. Detailed yet indeterminately American landscapes flood with surrealist dream imagery and subtle violence, while the voice of these poems intertwines between the intimately personal and the honestly imagined—all while remaining plainspoken, angular, direct.

From Cosmology

The river moves
beneath the sheet ice.
The wind is a grand hall
of records.
In the recipe box
above the refrigerator,
the deathbed photos
of four generations—
somewhere, their hands
have turned to prime numbers…

Michael McGriff is the author of three books of poetry and an acclaimed collection of short stories, Our Secret Life in the Movies. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry, Bookforum, The Believer, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and PBS NewsHour. He is currently teaching at the University of Idaho.

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