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For and Against

For and Against

Heart-corroding sex with a tin woodman. A foundering marriage like a cat on the brink of death that still manages to purr. Sharon McCartney's visceral exploration of relationships — how they begin and end, the tenuous threads that hold people together, and the events that can tear them apart — is unstinting, eyes-wide-open aware. Beginnings, endings, transitions: none elude the sometimes sardonic but always sinuous language of these finely wrought poems.
Sharon McCartney is the author of The Love Songs of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Karenin Sings the Blues, and Under the Abdominal Wall. She has received the 2008 Acorn-Plantos People's Poetry Award and has twice been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award. She lives in Fredericton.

Shortlisted: Next Generation Indie Book Award, Poetry
"McCartney is tough. She doesn't feel the obligation to rise above a heart-wrenching experience, to find a bright side, or to soften her bitterness... These are poems for feeling bad and liking it; not for regretting the vile things you've said and done, but for regretting that you now, alas, know better than to say or do them." — The Rover

"McCartney has shown a delightful felicity in previous books with stapling phrases into the memory. For and Against expands this strength with different material, and it's a testament to her talent that rawness isn't diminished by an attention to fluency." — Brian Palmu

"You don't read these poems, you feel them: hammer in the head, shod foot on the throat, stiletto in the heart. It's those combos of wild, piercing insights (or unusual but poignant images); yep, that's what makes it good for you — or kills you, laughing." — George Elliott Clarke

"Darkly obsessive, For and Against documents the rolling flux of life — the raw wounds of relationships in moments that are, in turn, anguished, edgy, droll, and affectionate. McCartney's poems are an extreme sport — one well worth playing." — Jeanette Lynes

76 pages
Pub date: April 16, 2010