***Also available as an audiobook***
Selected as one of the Best Poetry Books of the Year for 2014 by The Philadelphia Review of Books
- Thing Music is full of flesh, of creatures tangled in their worlds. Marked variously by the desert and coastal landscapes of Southern California and the intersections of phenomenology and anarchism, these poems are porous bodies, traversed by light and noise.
Always attuned to speech’s coupled tendencies—the sensual and the cerebral—McCann makes slippery the distinction between the two. Here ideas are made physical in the bodies of reader and writer, bodies the page both hides and calls into mind. It’s a delightful, weird experience. McCann’s poems is like being invited to lick the light.
Heather Christle, PEN America
Thing Music is active, vital and embodied, it scuttles, it tastes cities, drinks the desert air, it itches, groans, dies, lives, clips its toenails, rides the train, takes pictures with its phone, pushes furniture around, and is unilaterally wet with light. The book drips with the salivation of its many mouths.
Shawnacy Kiker, The Rumpus
These poems describe the texture of our world, and how we move through it, how we disrupt the ether, or how it ripples around us, and how we search for each other. Though personal and experiential, McCann’s poems are stripped down, rendering an access, allowing us to experience their weirdness and incongruence.
Robert Balun, Heavy Feather Review
Thing Music is not creating an idyll as much as it is reflecting the world in the only way we can possibly know it, seen incompletely and understood imperfectly. The flaws in our ability to perceive are, after all, a compelling reason why we need poetry in the first place.
Elizabeth O'Brien, NewPages
McCann examines our attachment to the physical world and uses this to build a bridge to the metaphysical; in his undulating world, the physical self is a gift, one that gives us a hand to feel that pulse, a shape in all the noise.
Where other poets have failed with ... experimentation, McCann succeeds—it’s as if McCann leaves the door to the poem ajar, with just enough access for the reader to enter. It’s a triumphant balance of obscurity and clarity, experimentation and accessibility.
Matthew Girolami, Cleaver Magazine
Unencumbered by formal liability, the poems in this book cling and clang an exceptional music underlying the profundity of reference and contrivance. More than all else, the reader feels there has been a learning experience in turning corners rather than standing still in the corridor of poetic cognizance.
Jackson Meazle, City Lights Blog
Anthony McCann was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He is the author of I am the dead, who, you take care of me (November 2023) and 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 in 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: September 2, 2014
ISBN# 9781933517964 (5.5x8 128pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781933517971 (5.5x8 128pp, limited edition hardcover)
ISBN# 9781950268337 (audiobook)