Gathering the best of her first five collections, a 'sexy, cerebral and romantic' introduction to one of the US's most charismatic and original poets
Loose-limbed, freewheeling and conversational yet musically taut, Maureen N. McLane's poetry has been described as having 'a tonal register somewhere between teenage fangirl and Wordsworth professor' (London Review of Books). What I'm Looking For gathers selections from her first five books of poetry, from the mixture of love poems and breezy skewerings of Great Literature that characterize her debut, Same Life, to the later collections' shadowing of a mind roaming wittily through nature, philosophy, music and sex, and the bravura life-story-in-episodes of Mz N: the serial.
Brainy, funny, passionate, uncool and always utterly charming, these 'sexy, cerebral and romantic' poems (The New York Times Book Review) will make you 'laugh, cry and think in quick succession, or all at once' (Sarah Howe).
I don't recommend Maureen N. McLane as much as proselytize for her. She's my favourite living poet . . . [Her work] bristles with life, feeling, argument
Breezy and inviting, but also rich and far-reaching . . . Many of the poems are so lovely that one notices their phrasing and pacing first, and then their deeper layers . . . McLane . . . knows when to dazzle and when to disrupt the reader's expectations with a risqué or cheeky observation
These are poems that keep you on your toes . . . McLane renders each phrase with the precise and steady hand of an ice sculptor. Her consummate finesse can be a source of delight
Her mix of the humorous and the cerebral is at once exuberant and rinsed with melancholy . . . It is possible to be carried so far by McLane - by her knowledge, wit, generosity, and musical ear - that one is carried away
The unstoppable, riverish fever of her enjambed, short-lined poems quickly draws one down through her mind, which is as good a prism as any I know of to encounter the external "effects" of nature, beauty, body . . . she makes memory, inside poetry, a downright erotic activity. It's not just the sex of her thought, but the sex of thought itself that breathes through these gorgeous poems