My new book, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders, will be released at AWP this year! Hurrah! The book was the winner of the Trio House open period. I’ll be signing books at the Trio House table from 11-3 on Thursday and 12-2 on Friday. Come see me and pick up a book. More updates on my schedule to follow.
“I am stunned by Kyle McCord’s Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders. In its catalogue of terror and beauty, we find inroads to our own sense of self and devotion and how we fit into the world. This is not just a book of poetry, but an essential entry in the world’s encyclopedia of irredeemable sorrow and profound, revelatory truth.”
—Nick Courtright, Author of Let There Be Light
Kyle McCord’s Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders sets the wild clamor of the sublime to the musical measure of the lyric, that “muscular alchemy.” Images chime, fractal-like, across scale, allowing something as small as a knee to contain a “galaxy / of fragile nerves” and something as momentous as our world to become “a tiny orb.” These leaps and inversions of scope dizzy the reader into the fantastic drunkenness of seeing the world anew, its offerings and its consequences. “I know material life / is the illusion,” he writes, and, like the speaker who says, “when I dove into the water, / I was not me anymore,” the reader who dives into McCord’s poems is transformed.
—Emilia Phillips, Author of Signaletics
In these wide-ranging and beautiful poems, Kyle McCord considers the intersections of art, politics and lived experience, his perceptions of one always broadening and deepening the others. Poems beginning in works of visual arts are far too restless to remain there, casting always outwards into often harrowing narratives of family, history, visual beauty, and the certainty of mortality. Kyle McCord’s poems are not just engaging. They are distinguished by an imagination that is at once startling and deeply humane.
—Kevin Prufer, Author of Churches