Praise for Mary Mackey’s Sugar Zone, Winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature
In Sugar Zone, Mary Mackey takes you on a fascinating journey to the interior, somewhere between Saint Theresa’s Inner Castle and the thicket of Eros—but also a place of desperate actuality, even if it is “on the other side of the world.” Mackey joins other visionary poets of dépaysement–Henri Michaux in Asia, John Ash in Anatolia, Sharon Doubiago in Peru, Lorca in Manhattan. But Mackey really seems to recover a lost part of herself in the edgy lyricism of the tropics, haunted by fado, forro, and death. Please read “Cold Snap”; who but Mackey could have written it? Sugar Zoneauthoritatively creates a language and a culture; but the lines are tense with the vulnerability of lovers, strangers, and travelers with no ticket home.
Mary Mackey’s new collection Sugar Zone is the culmination of many trips to Brazil. Most poems crackle with powerful and lush imagery; others are stark and draw their strength from the wisdom of the saying. These are death haunted poems but full of the vitality of the jungle, the favelas of Rio, the Amazon itself.
Poems by Mary Mackey
Published by Marsh Hawk Press 2011