It was danger
gave them life
makes us shine.
Like moonlight, McCann’s attention gives weird clarity and an alien glow to post-industrial landscapes and human interiors, un-civilizing us into seeing the world as both ruin and possibility.
Anthony McCann wants to achieve greatness, and he wants to do it with the grunting brute-force of a wildebeest. Moongarden, the Brooklyn poet’s second book, is full of strong poems, strong images, and strong mammals.... Beasts are scholarly to the extent that scholars are beastly; in essence all mammals are beasts, regardless of the habits that define them. ...The impulse behind fusing the intelligent and the animal is evident early on in Moongarden; it’s an impulse to access one’s inherent mindlessness, one’s plain being.
John Deming, Coldfront
For my money, the best books of poems generate spontaneous and unexpected language use in a reader—such as the work of the Spanish surrealists, some language poets and a few of our younger, contemporary poets. Anthony McCann’s Moongarden is one such example, delightfully dredging the sludge of our atrophied linguistic centers to free language for new associations and joys.
Tom Dvorske, H_NGM_N
A level of intrigue rarely seen or experienced in contemporary poetry. The strength of the poems in this collection rests on McCann’s ability to entice by setting up events and locations, then fracturing the narrative, allowing shadows to fan out upon the walls. The poet works for and against the shadowy, fine line that distinguishes man from beast and beast from man.
Steven R. Karl, LIT Review
Anthony McCann’s second and most recent book, Moongarden, is as coolly atmospheric as its title suggests. McCann’s lyricism is gelid, surreal, and eerie; in “October,” for instance, he writes, “beneath the park / a globe of ice is growing / shot through // with milky flaws,” creating a landscape that is more than winter bleakness. He also gives us moments of comic relief; in “October,” the “trees / raise their squirrelly fists.” Throughout Moongarden, McCann’s combination of surrealism, absurdity, and repetition of imagery results in a work that expertly embodies contradiction. The poems are cohesively fragmented, the whole book drawn together by a schizophrenic grace.
Evan J. Peterson, The Southeast Review
Be it shifts between the real and the ephemeral or sincerity and irony, Moongarden is ultimately about being caught in transition, and what a beautiful and horrible place it can be.
Rebecca Guyon, Galatea Resurrects
Anthony McCann was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He is the author of Thing Music (Wave Books, 2014), I ♥ Your Fate (Wave Books, 2011), Moongarden (Wave Books, 2006) and Father of Noise (Fence Books, 2003). In addition to these three collections, he is one of the authors of Gentle Reader! (2007), a book of erasures of the English Romantics, along with Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer. He lives Los Angeles and teaches in the University of California-Riverside's Palm Desert MFA program. He is the “Poet Laureate” of Machine Project and also teaches courses at the California Institute of the Arts.
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
ISBN# 9781933517025 (5.5x8 88pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781933517066 (5.5x8 88pp, limited edition hardcover)