Gentle, World, Gentler  (Ampersand Books 2015 Forthcoming)

You Are Indeed an Elk, But This Is Not the Forest You Were Born to Graze (Gold Wake Press 2015 Forthcoming)

Sympathy from the Devil (Gold Wake Press 2013)

Sympathy from the Devil at

Praise for Sympathy from the Devil


In Kyle McCord’s new book Gabriel empathizes, the Devil sympathizes, and an exhausted God watches a televangelist. Moving, imaginative and full of surprising turns, McCord’s poems are alive with both the world and the dead who “have no word for intimate, and a thousand words for blind.” I love the abundance of these poems, their humor, the music that made my ears howl and purr. When I dream about McCord’s poems dreaming of me, I ride an aging mechanical bull, werewolves take over the city, Abraham Lincoln begs to rip off my blouse, God’s love vanishes into my body like bread. I wake up hungry, afraid, laughing.

–Traci Brimhall, Author of Our Lady of the Ruins


In Kyle McCord’s mercurial and visionary new book, Sympathy from the Devil, we see a bold refiguring of the moral imagination that, like a Dante without a Beatrice, wanders hell bereft of the traditional compass that would clarify the archetypes.  Here the eye opens wide its compassion in the dark.  Play transgresses and so, in opposition to the self-servitude of sublimity and rapture, sheds light on cruelties and exclusions suffered in the name of the ideal.  Everywhere we look in this book, we find the generosity and precision of paradox.  The pleasure of absurdity may distance heartbreak, but it likewise binds us to it, such that the poet’s lightness of touch and ranginess of sensibility becomes indistinguishable from his vision, the sense that one half of sympathy is always the embrace, the other the letting go.  A stunning collection.

–Bruce Bond, Author of The Visible



“What do you want from any of us, reader?” asks the first poem in Kyle McCord’s Sympathy from the Devil, bristling a bit, cocking its chin, letting us know that what follows will never be exactly what we expect. The book brims with wily intelligence and unsettling humor that challenge and surprise and thrill and move us so that in the end what we want is everything this terrific book has to give.

—Corey Marks, Author of The Radio Tree


Informal Invitations to a Traveler (Gold Wake Press 2011)

Informal Invitations to a Traveler at

Praise for Informal Invitations to a Traveler

Informal Invitation to a Traveler is an epistolary exchange that exists uniquely apart from conventions of time and place. Alternately spare and lavish, a ghost narrative emerges of correspondences, echoes, and distances—raising questions of travel and renewal, home and seasons, abandonment and flight. With charm and intelligence, Hoag’s and McCord’s poems speak to each other, at each other, with and without each other. They are lively, keen, restless. They envision among the “rubbles of the cities” the possibility of a “home that lasts.”

James Haug

Part baedeker, part intimate murmur, the poems in Informal Invitation to a Traveler suggest that identity itself is a kind of collaboration, a murky alchemy of thought, image, and language. At these poetic intersections, we find two voices bewitched by their own and one another’s incongruities. What emerges is a dazzling study of perception: “How in one town we might be burning the monster,/and the next find ourselves listening to tides.”

Kara Candito

“The bridge of two voices across a landscape–one gorgeous, effusive, and intimate, the other stark and sorting. And the landscape? Flecked with small berries, nodes of sweetness, and hard weather, hard ground, and mazes of pretty but harming brambles. As you wake up here, poem by poem, Hoag and McCord invite you to consider what it means to let oneself wander and how much is enough. Evoking by turns whimsy, resolve, and dread, this is a terrific collaboration.”

Joe Hall

Galley of the Beloved in Torment (Dream Horse Press 2008)

Winner of 2008 Orphic Book Prize

Galley of the Beloved in Torment at Dream Horse Press

Praise for Galley of the Beloved in Torment

“Kyle McCord’s Galley of the Beloved in Torment bears the standard of les poètes maudits, the accursed poets, of Rimbaud, Corbière, Mallarmé, et al., and of their forefather Baudelaire. Like the speaker in many of McCord’s poems, these fin-de-siècle poets thrive in the outskirts, fingering the hem of society, free to witness her unraveling. Although McCord wrote Galley of the Beloved in Torment some 125 years after this time, his book parades the same Decadent style, a style indicative of high sentence, sensuality, social deviance, and the bizarre, to name a few, but enough to stoke our, as Marlow said inHeartofDarkness,’fascinationoftheabomination.'”
Ezekiel Black

“Kyle McCord is a wickedly lavish poet. His scope is broad, his syllables exactingly chosen. The Galley of the Beloved in Torment brings us the pleasure of fable, the ‘hot breath of one rock on another,’ the spectacle of life transformed.”
Noy Holland

“Kyle McCord delicately folds promises, prophecies, laments, lists and directives into poems that exhibit both high mastery and intense earnestness. Lines shift and vary in unpredictable ways, as do the poems’ speakers, who observe, summon, question, caution, and – above all else – morph. The line between man’s best and beast repeatedly blurs. The personal terrifyingly melts into the global in an intimate overlay. Galley of the Beloved in Torment is not love poetry, nor political poetry, nor philosophical poetry; it is all those at once, slippery and sly yet hardhitting in a fantastic(al) blend.”
YZ Chin

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