A Small Asymmetry


A Small Asymmetry


John Donoghue



John Donoghue is the author of the poetry collection Precipice (Four Way Books, 2000), and his poems have appeared in Agni, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Lancet, Prairie Schooner, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. He received his M.F.A. from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. A native of New York City, he holds a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in engineering from Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University). After working for several years in industry as a Senior Control Engineer for the Industrial Nucleonics Corporation (now ABB), he joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Cleveland State University where he presently teaches in the areas of control systems and digital signal processing.

“Imagine Marianne Moore’s scientific eye, Robert Lowell’s turbulent heart, and Billy Collins’ sleight-of-hand and you begin to glimpse the altogether agreeable chimera that is John Donoghue. The poems in A Small Asymmetry take the familiar surfaces of the world and probe them, rumple them, shake them out, reminding you, as the best poems do, of just how much you fail to see. In poems like ‘Neighbor’ and ‘Shelia’s Auras,’ and the splendid ‘Solstice,’ Donoghue’s restless intelligence and imagination are drawn equally to the silly and the sad, to the broken and the whole, to the beauty and absurdity of trying to make sense of things—ourselves in particular.” –George Bilgere

“The mind in these poems is sharp, brash, book-smart, and filled with rage for an order the world simply refuses to provide. The heart in these poems is street-smart and smart-alecky, yet tender with hard-earned wonder at the world’ s mysteries. ‘I love all of it’, Donoghue writes, and so do we after reading these masterful poems.” –Lewis Buzbee

“Idiomatic, wildly smart and emotionally open, alive alike to nature, myth, mathematics, family, physics, religion, malls, ATMs, and doctor’ s offices, John Donoghue’s poems read like tracks left by a consciousness imaginatively alert to humor and suffering, the chaos of history and the engineer’s passion for design. Follow them.” –Dan Tobin

More Information:

VQR Online



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





A Small Asymmetry