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by Dawn McGuire

 6 x 9 in; 80 pages

Softcover with Flaps

ISBN 97809859773-7-5

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Audio: Dawn McGuire reads from American Dream with Exit Wound




Advance Praise for Dawn McGuire

New Audio Dawn McGuire reading....


McGuire’s poems intercept the reader in an “emergency room” of language, then roll in the crash cart, starting with this heart-shock title: AMERICAN DREAM WITH EXIT WOUND. McGuire is inspired by her work with post 9/11 vets, by her brain research as a neurologist and her immersion in myth. You will take your life in your hands as you read these super‑charged poems—and you will... “come to” with an exit wound: by which I mean to say a whole new consciousness of what poetry is, what poetry can do, and how poetry urgently matters.”

—Carol Muske-Dukes, California Poet Laureate (2008-2011)


“It’s taken almost five hundred years for science to awaken from its post-Cartesian love affair with rationality, and reacknowledge what the Greeks knew: the gods are an unruly lot. They live in us; their Olympus is the untamable, amoral, “limbic” core from which our most base and most exalted passions arise. McGuire, both a neuroscientist and a classicsinfused poet, lights up the limbic brain, then makes it sing like a drunken Caruso.”

—David Shaddock, author of Vernal Pool


In this new collection by the awardwinning poet and neurologist DawnMcGuire, the American Dream is an ironic construct at the end of Empire. Here, returning soldiers bring “hazardous materials” home in their bodies and minds; while home is increasingly a battleground of addiction and disaffection.

In Limbics, the book’s middle section, the neurological “old brain” speaks. Jealousy, rage, and anxious intuition overwhelm all reason; while desire is that resistless force “by which we are inflamed, destroyed/and
raised to aerial ash/again and again.”

In Ghosts, the final section, inevitable losses of love, will, memory, and capacity become the psyche’s “missing children”. They haunt us, and sometimes steal our names. These poems confront deeper wounds in
body, mind, and body politic, wounds that science can neither name nor remedy.

There is strong medicine here, transgressive and redemptive.