About this book
Exile—with its sense of suspended or impending motion, of change, loss, acceptance—gives James J. McAuley’s poems their need to be, their means of surviving the exigencies of the displaced spirit. Ancestors on both sides of his family were bards in Celtic Ireland. Although a naturalized United States citizen, McAuley has maintained his connections with his native land: the Irish times listed him among one hundred “significant Irish writers.” Although the poet writes of the familial and the domestic, he is writing at the same time of journeys out and back, of losses and recoveries. McAuley is as much at ease with the solemnity of elegy as with the invective of political satire or the sensual metaphysics of the love-poem.
“Gutsy, astute, sometimes penitential, his poems address the difficult ground of one’s midcourse with a brave eloquence.”
“Coming & Going is the work of a genuine poet with something to say, the work of a craftsman who understands meter, rhyme, stanzaic form, someone who has a grasp of the traditional forms of his Gaelic heritage…”