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shane mccrae

The Reformation

“The robot bird flew down // From the ceiling     landed on / My head bent     its head down / And whispered in my ear / Wake up you     fucker.” A new installment in Shane McCrae‘s thrilling, terrifying, madcap, and marvelous “The Hell Poem.”

Old Times There

“He’s     dreaming, and // I see his dream.” In Shane McCrae‘s new verse drama, Jim Limber looks down on Jefferson Davis from heaven–and Davis grasps at him from hell.

The Visible Boy

“in the book as I remember it is surrounded by / parentheses / The illustrator / keeps him moving 

black / Parentheses like as if his brown skin struck / black / Sparks on the air with every step.” Shane McCrae‘s recollection of a 1940s children’s book reanimates the terrible power of its depictions and their violent persistence in memory and beyond.

Short Takes on Long Poems, Volume 2

Marianne Boruch, John Koethe, Jon Davis, Camille Dungy, Cate Marvin, Rachel Hadas, H.L. Hix, Shane McCrae, Nicole Cooley, Gretchen E. Henderson, David Caplan, and Jake Adam York weigh in (briefly) on their favorite long poems.


Writing to a half-brother he didn’t know, Shane McCrae tells a powerful story of longing across race, distance and lies–a story of “water in a fist” where the brothers are “not the fist/…not the water/we the thirst.”