If you’re a poet or writer in any other form or genre, you’ve probably witnessed many modern, uncivilized behaviors from fellow students, writers and academic colleagues—their public relations gestures, their catty reviews and essays, and their often uncivil career moves. Like actors, visual artists and politicians, cut-throat pirate maneuverings have become the new normal. It’s what occurs whenever there are more people practicing an art than any particular economy can support.
The difference with writers is their ability to develop highly conceptualized, rationalizations in order to prove their worth and ideals. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has reached a critical mass in meaningless attempts to pull focus in a society obsessed with the show-biz spotlight.
Writing in the Age of Narcissism traces how the narcissism epidemic affects writers, including our gestures of post-modernism and irony, and proposes an alternative way to be a more positive writer, critic and reader.
More about the book, including bonus discussion on writing strategies and narcissism.
Why Photographers Commit Suicide explores, in small narratives and lyrical poems, the American idea of Manifest Destiny, particularly as it relates to the next frontier—space exploration. Mary McCray examines the scientific, psychological and spiritual frontiers enmeshed in our very human longing for space, including our dream of a space station on Mars. These poems survey what we gain and what we lose as we progress towards tomorrow, and how we can begin to understand the universal melancholy we seem to cherish for what we leave behind, the lives we have already lived. McCray unearths our feelings about what it means to move ahead and stake out new territory, and what it means to be home.
"What a surprise! Poetry that rightly deserves the praise, by which I mean poetry that makes you forget you're reading poetry. How refreshing. For far too many American poets, their poems are a glitter of self-consciousness--the facile of the MFA crowd. This new collection by Mary McCray should earn her a wide readership with its outer space leaps of invention. Her ribald sense of humor. Grit. Originality. "
--Tom Crawford, Author of The Names of Birds, Wu Wei, and The Temple on Monday
St. Louis expats, Mary (Ladd) McCray and Julie Wiskirchen, met in graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College in 1995. While there, they came across a haiku about the Gateway Arch, written by a grade school student, and they were inspired to try the art form themselves. Some of these haiku are biting, but Mary and Julie wrote them with genuine love for their hometown.
This first edition of St. Lou Haiku was handcrafted. The 12 pt. Garamond Old Style type (with 14 & 18 pt. for display & Post wooden type for cover) was handset. Printing was done on a 6 X 10 C&P handpress. The paper is Wausau Royal Linen with Royal Silk scarlet endpaper. The cover and title page use some Post (as in Saturday Evening Post) italic wooden type the publisher was given by the son of a deceased printer from Collinsville, Illinois.
The zinc-cuts from Clarence Wolfshohl's 4 original St. Louis illustrations were made by the Augustine Company of Marshalltown, Iowa.
All design, artwork, printing and binding were done by Clarence Wolfshohl during spring and early summer of 2004 at Timberline Press, Fulton, Missouri.