Mary Carroll-Hackett (Poetry) | Farmville, VA
Press & Reviews
“Mary Carroll-Hackett’s work is alive with the language of the heart. It is angry, sad, celebratory, erotic, reverent and irreverent in equal degree. The voices on these pages are distinct, and human, and so accessible, you can see the whole world through the prism of these poems. Mary Carroll-Hackett wields the prose poem as a cudgel or a caress, as a song, or a meditation, a prayer or a curse. She is as fine an artist with this form as we have in our time.”
—Robert Bausch, author of Far As the Eye Can See, Almighty Me (optioned for film and eventually adapted as Bruce Almighty), A Hole in the Earth (a New York Times Notable and Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year), and Out of Season.
“This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender.”
—Jan Beatty, author of Red Sugar, Boneshaker, Mad River, and The Switching/Yard (University of Pittsburgh Press).
The wisdom in Mary Carroll-Hackett’s If We Could Know Our Bones spans the width of the universe springing from a moment in time. It spans time from its elemental beginnings to a contemporary couple bound in each other’s arms and legs as it has been since the beginning. She weaves the science of understanding and the magic of everyday living. We stand in wonder at the miracle and intimacy of nourishment and take sweet flight into the unknown and intuitive. These gems cut from words are earthy and heavenly, transcendent and rooted in the dirt of our becoming and our reckoning. These prose poems offer us shelter and meaning in the everyday, yet reach out to brush the hair back out of the face of the immortal as if to say, “God, let me see your eyes.” Intimate and strange they occupy a place thumping within the physical human heart and the other heart we cannot fathom. Read this book, friends, not for answers, but to have the birdshot of goose bumps pepper your flesh on a summer day and wonder at the shared breath you take now from the one taken by ancestors long dead. Reading Mary Carroll-HAckett’s work is like knowing the science of why you have goose bumps, but still in wonder to the mystery of how they are raised from the vapor of words. Mary Carroll-Hackett gives us concrete wonder like no other I know.
—Jerry D. Mathes II, author of Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire and Fever and Guts: A Symphony.