In poems that search, name, nab, and unsettle, Christian McEwen excavates loss—and discovers evidence of love. Many of the poems make poignant use of the rich iambic throb and dangerous lilt of nursery rhyme, while others follow instinct and let mystery do the singing. A toddler left to a “hot smear of sunlight,” a woman watching her hands “like other people’s children,” another crying “Give me the bloody lunch that is your heart”—I am grateful for these voices’ testimony, fierce and gentle.
2015 Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets
In the Wake of Home is a volume of acute tenderness: for a father’s drinking, a sister’s death by drowning, a brother’s suicide, a lover found and lost, and above all for the vulnerable child self that remains alive in the grown woman who seeks “a way to praise.” With a deft music at times lyric, at times analytic, mordant and comic, Christian McEwen’s poetry touches what’s most inward in us.
Christian McEwen is a writer, educator, workshop facilitator, and cultural activist. Since leaving New York City twenty years ago, she has edited two anthologies and produced a video documentary, Tomboys!, and a play, Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money. Her book, World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan 2011), is now in its sixth printing and is also available in an audio format. Her most recent collection is Sparks from the Anvil: the Smith College Poetry Interviews, (Bauhan 2015). Christian grew up in the borders of Scotland and now lives in western Massachusetts.