Hunger Wide as Heaven


Hunger Wide as Heaven


Max Garland



Max Garland was born and grew up in western Kentucky, and is the author of a previous book of poems, The Postal Confessions, from the University of Massachusetts Press. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Georgia Review, Best American Short Stories, and other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the James Michener Foundation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. He now lives and teaches in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“I’m a mad fan of the delicious, radiant poems of Max Garland. He even makes me feel closer to that old-time religion than I’ve felt in quite a while. There’s a welcoming world here you’ll recognize, as well as a wistfulness that feels perfectly pitched, leaning out to mystery. You can string his poems together in your mind, drape them from the door inside your head like a welcoming wreath, and you’ll feel better walking through it.” –Naomi Shihab Nye

“Max Garland finds, in ‘the knottiness / of things’—wind, tree, bird, sky, water, light, a father’s milk truck, a mother’s perfume—a music of resilience, and grace. Simultaneously elegy and celebration, these poems explore themes of time and mortality, God and faith, memory and redemption, with a meditative serenity and urgency, in an affectionate accessible voice. For Garland, poetry is ‘a way to speak a loss away,’ to embrace, in emptiness, strength; in diminishment, desire; in loss, recovery; in hunger wide as heaven, the possibility, at least, of fulfillment. This is a beautiful, beautiful book.” –Ronald Wallace

“Kentucky bred, fed from ‘the faint blue source’ of dawning TV ‘the waning days of Methodism’—for grassroots American melancholy. Max Garland is the pure tobacco: free of poetic fashions, the wind in the linden his muse, surprised by the light that has traveled so far to find his transparent self on the dark glass of a hotel window, ‘a man still / in the midst of transmission’, through which our transient world can be seen.” –Eleanor Wilner

More Information:

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


Verse Daily



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





Hunger Wide as Heaven