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Poetry. Kevin McLellan's third collection shines with minimalist meditative poems that examine our connection to the natural and man-made world where we are asked to witness our vulnerability and remain present to each moment. They circle in on themselves, surfacing on family, self, and the ever-mystery of our own thoughts. The book opens with the image of the speaker's father falling from great height, "but he lived," and these poems fall and survive, take flight and find, among their dizzying experiments with form and fragmentation, a kind of song and transcendence.
According to Cole Swensen, "The word ornitheology, in addition to winning 'title of the year, ' perfectly captures this book--it's aerial, and it's reverent; it's full of grace, and it glides. And it's full of birds! It's also full of great line-breaks, intricate repetitions, flickering moments, and an expanded sense of sky. McLellan, who was raised by canaries, has constructed an amazingly delicate world of resilient fragility in which 'light is a seed that the mind must carry.' A stunning book that manages to be both honest and hopeful.
Donald Revell reflects, "At the funeral of his beloved sister, Helen, Henry Thoreau, standing by the parlor window, heard the call of a songbird and exclaimed, 'One of us is well, at any rate!' In his beautiful Oritheology, Kevin McLellan exclaims a bold prospect of actual spiritual health for these dispiriting days. He has found 'an envelope of light' tucked into the corners of our world. He has descried a worthy and redeeming anticipation on branch and cloud and sunbeam.