By Michael Earl Craig
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
ISBN# 9781933517834 (5.25x7.75 104pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781933517841 (5.25x7.75 104pp, limited edition hardcover)
Michael Earl Craig furthers his existential, Lynchian leanings with masterfully composed new poems. He has borrowed the everyday and returned it defamiliarized, dark, and droll. Readers are ushered out of their contemporary bustle and into the intimate viewing room that is Craig’s cinematic fourth collection.
Craig renders unsettling dreams and quotidian clutter with sparse language and a quiet, distant voice to conjure poems brimming with the bizarre... If it's the qualities of the macabre that lure the reader in, then it's our inability to look away from the grotesque that drives us to continue reading.
Talkativeness reminds us that the stuff of everyday life is always perversely lovely, luminously creepy, and worthy of attention... Craig unsettles as he entertains, and his gift to us lies in this unsettling.
Maggie Millner, Zyzzyva
...Craig's book is clearly 4 All Mankind, as it says, just a tad ironically, on the label of those two-hundred-dollar jeans — which isn’t to say it’s not subtle and idiosyncratic, because it is. I’m not talking Ogden Nash; Talkativeness is never cute. It's full of wisdom and elegance and beauty, all those good things lined with a comic edge so sharp it made me laugh aloud...
Lydia Millet, The Millions
If you were among those persuaded by Thin Kimono (2010) that Michael Earl Craig was a poet to watch, you may consider your intuitions confirmed. Talkativeness dwells a little more deeply in the voice of that earlier volume, becoming more at home in it, but still capable of surprise.
Paul Scott Stanfield, Ploughshares
From the collisions of the mundane and the absurd, humor and severity, poetry and other forms, Craig has constructed a moving, approachable work that might just provide an avenue to bring more readers to the genre. Contemporary practitioners would do well to follow this shining example.
Anthony Blake, Cleaver Magazine
These are poems highly aware of poetic tradition, combined with a contemporary, 21st century, distinctly American tone. What we have is a speaker who knows how to sound, how to speak, depending on what needs to be said or left unsaid.
Patrick Whitfill, HTMLGiant
So many things can be said for the brilliance of his poems, but it’s the intimacy and awareness found Michael Earl Craig’s work that encourages us to take notice of the poems that continue on, unfolding around us, even after the book is closed.
Kyle Harvey, Heavy Feather Review
Craig’s work is like a glimpse into the underworld of everything – the simmering weirdness that sits just under the surface of everyone’s conscious mind and underneath the apparently hard reliable surface of the world.
Leif Haven, Entropy Magazine
Michael Earl Craig is from Dayton, Ohio, home of the gas mask and the mood ring. He is the author of Woods and Clouds Interchangeable (Wave Books, 2019), Talkativeness (Wave Books, 2014), Thin Kimono (Wave Books, 2010), Yes, Master (Fence Books, 2006), Can You Relax in My House, (Fence Books, 2002), and the chapbook Jombang Jet (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). He lives in the Shields Valley, near Livingston, Montana, where he runs a full-time farrier practice. He was the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Montana.
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