Stylistically engaging, formally innovative, and intellectually stimulating, the poem-letters of this book bring something new to the genre. As our editor says, McMorris is unique in his "ability to leap back and forth between the highly personal and intimate with the political, especially with war. The Iraq war specifically, but more importantly war in general pervades this manuscript, in the same way that war acts, and has acted throughout history, like a virus. . . . Many of these poems are told in the form of letters, which allows for a different kind of intimate tone than a normal lyric, and also reinforces the fact that poems, and language, are about communication. The voice is sagacious and, in a way, takes the point of view of both a keen observer of history and someone merely giving advice to a friend, or a message to a lover. This is truly great work." Mark McMorris also joins Coffee House Press's growing list of important poets of the Caribbean-a list that includes Victor Hernandez Cruz, Quincy Troupe, and Adrian Castro.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mark McMorris is an award-winning poet whose books include The Blaze of the Poui, a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, writer-in-residence at Brown University, and visiting professor at University of California-Berkeley. He currently teaches at Georgetown University where he directs the Lannan Literary Programs.