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Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden’s poems have appeared recently in Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Green Mountains Review, Failbetter, Rattle and elsewhere.  She is the recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, as well as support from The Vermont Arts Endowment Fund and The Vermont Studio Center.  She teaches English and Creative Writing at Montpelier High School in Montpelier, Vermont and is an MFA degree candidate at Warren Wilson College.  She lives in Plainfield, Vermont with her two children.


Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes

Landscape with Plywood SilhouettesLandscape with Plywood Silhouettes

$15.00 paper | 84 pages
ISBN: 978-1-936970-26-1
Publication Date: March 2014
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Winner of the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize

Kerrin McCadden’s Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes is one of the most compelling and powerful debut collections in recent American poetry. These exquisite meditations on the lived life are often nothing less than stunning, and are at times truly devastating. This gorgeous collection is both mature and tender in its reckonings of our shifting relationships with family and loved ones. Kerrin McCadden is especially accomplished in considering those who’ve engaged in constructions of daily happiness only to discover that what they’d begun in dream has ended in quiet wreckage. Poem by poem, we are consoled by the poet’s remarkable reflective ease and her profound intimacy.  The beauty of these poems is matched only by their sense of triumph in resilience, and its resulting peace.
            —David St. John

Whether riding on planes, listening to the surf, or falling deeply into and out of love—McCadden's poems are much like the man she describes "walking the sidewalks of your town / with a tangle of bicycle innertubes / over his shoulder like a map of his heart."  Their intricate conceits manage to remain precise—challenging us all the while to paint with our language the landscapes that will outlast us.
            —Dorianne Laux

For mature poets such as Kerrin McCadden, a headlong gaze into one’s life is an excursion into the possibilities of language and song that becomes with each poem a celebration of intelligence and light. Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes is revelatory and perfectly cadenced to the spiritual agonies and joys of living in our time.
            —Major Jackson

Kerrin McCadden links one element of a deeply regarded landscape to another—cold, a village, a snowy owl, a young girl’s new tattoo flashing as she swims away in a pond—until a New England village becomes the world, entered, held, each thing connected to each by love and ache. Possessed of a deep emotional intelligence, alert to the strange folds and surprises of language, these poems are fresh as a snowfall.
            —Mark Doty


Saint Albans

We made love, algebraic and steady.
Soon, you left for work. I spent the day
like foreign currency, ambling. I was an
angler fish. You were bioluminescent,
right past the bridge of my nose all day.
I followed, and also did not follow.
I bumped into things all day. I went to
the library, where none of the books would
tell me about Pushkin, where the librarian
cut coupons and set a timer on my use
of the table. The logs in the fireplace
had never been lit. I went upstairs to
find the rest of the books, and found,
instead, offices. Everything was under
water, my apologies to the librarian
for the pile of books, the smell of my
leftover sandwich. I could not work
around you. When I left the library,
there was police tape to my left, and
I drove the wrong way down the street,
women with strollers milling on the
sidewalk, waiting for something to emerge
from the house between the library and
St Mary’s Church. Everything was
under water, the skateboarders, the
rubbernecking women who had heard
this was a methamphetamine bust
in this sleepy northern city, this city
where the sidewalks are planted with
low flowers in geometric patterns, each
one a separate lure, the soil dry between
them, this city named after the town in
England, it turns out, where the Magna
Carta was born, the rights of the common
man, this city so asleep on the beach
it does not know how far underwater
I can breathe, or what I see, the way lit
as it is by a cold light. I am as alone
as I can be, just now, with the city
pressing in, the disapproving woman
who almost hits me as I drive away
shaking her head, but I am increasingly
alphanumeric, making more and more
sense the closer I am to home.