The Lame God
by M. B. McLatchey
Winner of the 2013 May Swenson Poetry Award
University Press of Colorado & Utah State University Press
It is a hard fact that, to the artist, everything is material. We grit our teeth and use even the most personal catastrophes—our own and those of others—to make art. This is what the Classical authors did, and this is what M. B. McLatchey has done with her great subject in this book. The effect is powerful, and ultimately, The Lame God proves that if our traumatic experiences don’t destroy us, they can produce masterful works, in which human nature rises to its heights.
— From the foreword by Edward Field, American poet and essayist, and judge for the 2013 May Swenson Award
What Others are Saying:
In The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan demands to know why, “if everyone must suffer . . . pray tell me what children have to do with it? McLatchey, like Ivan, asks her gods to explain themselves in this startling collection of poems, searing in their union of feeling and form. These poems tore me up, and they will you, too, but never does McLatchey sentimentalize. Instead, here are lines informed by an intelligence rarely heard today as the voice of a grieving parent crying out to the gods finds its echo, but little solace, in the immortals of classical myth. A painfully beautiful debut collection!!
— Bruce Guernsey, former editor of The Spoon River Poetry Review and author of From Rain: Poems, 1970-2010
This book is crushing and brilliantly written. If ever there were a time for McLatchey’s deeply moving and compassionate poems, it is now with the crazed, unchecked violence against our children. Our Western myths of tragedy and religious martyrdom pale against such inexplicable preying on children and devastating tragedy. There are no elegies here, only a powerful intellect at work and a truly gifted poet’s heartbreaking songs to our lost children.
— Jeffrey Greene, author of Beautiful Monsters
Like the mockingbird's cry of loss in Whitman's "Out of the Cradle," a haunted music echoes
throughout this wrenching sequence. Whether invoking myth or late night TV, the horrific scenario of a child's abduction and murder and the aftermath – experienced through a family's, especially a mother's eyes -- is never less than convincingly presented. With considerable technical flair, M.B. McLatchey in The Lame God reminds us of what poetry can be, at its best: a supreme act of imagination and empathy.
— Peter Schmitt, author of Renewing the Vows
In magisterial cadences, this powerful poetic sequence gives voice to the unspeakable and
transposes profound grief into immortal song. McLatchey's poems are talismans and spells--not against loss but against forgetting.
— Philip Brady, author of Fathom and co-founder of Etruscan Press
We wake in scenes that tell us what we dreamed. So begins one of the poems in M. B. McLatchey’s harrowing and remarkable collection, which is, with its deftly rendered and exquisite surface, a book about child abduction and murder drawn as the alternate reality it actually is. This is a book, when considering the soul chamber from which these poems must have originated, about the world-without-end quality to grief and the unresolved heart. It resists every easy answer and courts every dangerous and heavenly prayer.
— Michael Klein, author of The Talking Day
Title: The Lame God
Series: Swenson Poetry Award
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1 edition
Pub. Date: September 15, 2013
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
October 30, 2013 - CityArt, Salt Lake Library, Salt Lake City, UT. 7:00pm
October 31, 2013 - Utah State University, Logan, UT. 12:00 noon
November 1, 2013 - Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. 12:00 noon