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Abundance, Poems by Mark McCaig

The abundant world is rendered tenderly in Mark McCaig’s poems, the body’s challenges met directly by the body’s spirit.

Sample Poems by Mark McCaig

“I have waited for this book, not knowing who would write it or what form it would take. McCaig’s work dazzlingly acknowledges our reality of blood and bones and nature’s impersonal creation and destruction, as well as another kind of abundance, out of which the universe, the body, the mind, and even these poems have come, to inspire me back to my own.” -David Keplinger 

“‘Do we console the world, or does the world console us?’ Mark McCaig asks. I’d say both, in this rich, skillful collection. It’s not easy to write personal illness into poetry. But in these poems, the blood drops of McCaig’s diabetes tests are where ‘we all / reach out, briefly, to touch our days.’ The days in these poems are ordinary: going crabbing with his daughters, checking them for ticks, struggling with his flaring tension when the blood sugar is high. There is a beautiful tenderness, a fragility, a surprising breadth of thought, here in the singing. There is singing. I’m glad these poems are in the world, both singing and consoling.”—Fleda Brown 

“In part because he has coped for a good long while with chronic disorder—Type1 Diabetes—Mark McCaig’s poems are acutely aware of the fact that the body, as much as the intellect, is always the abiding catalyst for the lyric poem. As he writes in one of this collection’s most characteristic efforts, ‘the thing of it is/ all that there is/is the body/this ever thing.’ Yet these are not poems about illness or mortality, but of extreme clarity of vision: McCaig’s intention is to notice everything, especially those emotive basics which form the basis for a life well-lived: family (and elegy), the natural world, and the pop culture touchstones which sustain him. These careful, wryly observant, and above all tender poems deserve reading—and rereading.” David Wojahn 

Mark McCaig has received multiple grants in poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. His poems have appeared in many journals, occasionally winning prizes. He is a school founder, father, and lifelong follower of the birds and stars over the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2008, Fairhaven School published his nonfiction and poetry book Like Water to mark the school’s first decade. In 2014, Kattywompus Press published Lifelist, a chapbook of prose poems. He teaches at the University of Maryland University College and Notre Dame University of Maryland.