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We Were Once Here by Michael McFee

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A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Michael McFee has taught at the University of North Carolina since 1990. In 2009 he received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is the author of fifteen books, including nine previous poetry collections. “Michael McFee is masterful in teasing out wonders from down-to-earth subjects. . . . While even its title gently insists that we imagine a future in which we aren’t, what comes through most in these new poems is the beauty and worth of the days and places we share. This is a strong moving collection from one of our most quietly remarkable poets.” - Philip Memmer. “At the onset we are on familiar Appalachian ground where the poet can move confidently among the details of that landscape and family history.  He is preparing us for the passionate sequence that follows, detailing the drawn-out death of his niece, for whom he cared in her last days. . . . McFee succeeds brilliantly. Having brought us through this oreal, he concludes his collection with poems that push the metaphor of home and its boundaries even farther, exploring what “here” means, in all its mysteries and challenges.” - The late Kathryn Stripling Byer.

Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017. 84 pages. Trade paperback