Poems by Anne Marie Macari

Mary's Blood

New York, 1927

Still Life with Magnolia and Dove

 

 



Anne Marie Macari is a questioner, a truth-seeker, a modern soothsayer. Reading her poems, writes Jean Valentine, “I think of Jane Kenyon, in her kindred humor, quietness, fierceness, and plain integrity.” Tony Hoagland has called Macari “the latest ambassador of a great lineage of strong poets whose subject is blood-knowledge.”

As the late Robert Creeley noted in his introduction to Ivory Cradle, which he chose to win the APR/Honickman First Book Prize: “The wonders here are those of perception, intuition, union, separation—all the emotions these provoke. Anger, despair, but also joy, love in its flooding recognitions, relief in the world’s insistent substance.” Macari’s second book, Gloryland, dubbed “sumptuously visceral” by Publisher’s Weekly, re-examines motherhood, death, birth, and rebirth, drawing on religious and secular creation myths to enact a feminist religion. Macari’s poems explore darkness and light, sin and forgiveness, what is lost and what is loved, delicately probing the how, the where, the why of what it is to be a woman. She wonders at the perfect empty vessel of Mary, the “transgressor” Eve, the insistence on quiet suffering—and in the process sees female spirituality with new eyes. Spiritual and bodily crescendos come with the velocity and force of intense recognition, and of redemption. But perhaps most unique to this poet is the insistence that to live fully in the body is the truest, bravest, most glorious form of worship.

Winner of Five Points’ James Dickey Prize for Poetry, Macari has published widely in journals, including The American Poetry Review, GulfCoast, Bloomsbury Review, and Shenendoah. A graduate of Oberlin College, she holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence. Macari is on the core faculty at New England College Low residency MFA Program and the Prague Summer Workshops. She lives in New Jersey.

 

Poetry Center Reading:

Fall 2006