by Mary Mackey

Hear Mary read some of these poems at


In The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, winner of the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for the Best Book Published by a Small Press, Mary Mackey writes of life, death, love, and passion with intensity and grace. Her poems are hugely imaginative and multi-layered. Part One contains forty-eight new poems including twenty-one set in Western Kentucky from 1742 to 1975; and twenty-six unified by an exploration of the tropical jungle outside and within us, plus a surreal and sometimes hallucinatory appreciation of the visionary power of fever. Part Two offers the reader seventy-eight poems drawn from Mackey’s seven previous collections including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 Oakland PEN Award for Literary Excellence. In his introduction to Jaguars, poet D. Nurkse says: “Mary Mackey has created an oeuvre, wilder, more open to change with each passing year. Hers is a monumental achievement.”

Praise for The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams

“It is difficult to resist the temptation to compare Mary Mackey to Elizabeth Bishop. Both poets are stunningly imagistic, musical, and awake to topography, sociology, and the world beyond.”                      —The Huffington Post

“Mary Mackey’s poems are powerful, beautiful, and have extraordinary range. This is the poetry of a woman who has lived richly, and felt deeply. May her concern for the planet help save it.”— Maxine Hong Kingston

“Mackey’s poems crackle with powerful, lush energy.” Marge Piercy

Always Mackey’s eye is drawn to the marginalized, the poor, the outcast, the trivialized.  [In] The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, she has created an oeuvre, wilder, more open to change with each passing year. Hers is a monumental achievement.”—D. Nurkse

“Mackey’s crisp-edged perceptions are set down with a sensuous, compassionate, and utterly unflinching eye.”—Jane Hirshfield

“Her fine work deserves every-widening exposure.” —Al Young, California Poet Laureate

“If you allow yourself to see this collection as a metaphor, I would suggest it depicts a poet drawn to fire, to destruction, and to experiences so intense they force you to question your life, your priorities and your raison d’etre.”– [PANK] Magazine

“Mackey is a magnificent thinker with broad passions . . . in full possession of a wild and wacky sense of humor that always puts her readers at ease . . . Her work, while stunningly layered, is always accessible.”

Purchase The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams:

The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams
Published by Marsh Hawk Press 2018
ISBN 978-0-99699112-4
$15 paper; $2.99 Kindle e-book

Small Press Distribution Paperback $15.00  Paperback $15  Kindle $2.99

Pegasus Books, Berkeley California (paperback)

Book Passage Bookstore, Corte Madera, California (paperback)

If you ask your local independent bookstore to order The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams for you, you will be supporting community literary spaces.