Shane McCrae



Shane McCrae has written four full-length books of poems—Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center; finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a PEN Center USA Literary Award), Blood(Noemi Press), Forgiveness Forgiveness (Factory Hollow Press), and The Animal Too Big to Kill(Persea Books; winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award)—and three chapbooks. His poems and prose have appeared in many anthologies, including The Best American series, and have been published in The American Poetry Review, Fence, Boston Review, Agni, jubilat and elsewhere. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He teaches at Oberlin College and in the brief-residency M.F.A. program at Spalding University.

“Syntax is the facility of the soul, O’Hara taught us, and somehow in the first decade of the 21st century, our poets decided to separate syntax and what compels us, as if the two weren’t of the same element, as if we read no Berryman and memorized no Shakespeare, and as if their punctuation did not stop our breath! What a joy now to discover a voice such as Shane McCrae’s, who in this first decade of a new century finds his new music, and compels us with its outbursts and heartbreak and yells and stuttering of joy and its sudden clarity of perception that is like no other. Shane McCrae is a master.” –Ilya Kaminsk

“Some books come down like gods dying to transform us out of our empty, shattered lives. Mule is such a book. Never shying away from sudden confusions of pain and beauty, Shane McCrae’s questions are not why so much pain? why so much beauty? but, instead, how can they remake us? McCrae’s is a living, breathing poetry made of wisdom and wrenching song.” –Katie Ford

“This astonishing, extremely beautiful book is, in a way, a new twist on the epithalamion, tracing the innumerable and inescapable marriages that fissure our lives. And it traces them with an eerie repetitive force that, while echoing the edgier experiments of Modernism, still manages to feel utterly unfamiliar. It’s a book both haunted and haunting possessed by sound and its tremendous momentum, that somehow-suspended momentum, hypnotic in its rhythms and compelling in its headlong fall into the truth of the heart.” –Cole Swenson

More Information:

Kenyon Review

The Rumpus

The Lit Pub

Evening Will Come

Academy of American Poets



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center