Poetry by Mark McMorris

February 2, 2010 • 6 x 9 • 90 pages • 978-1-56689-236-0

Missives from the entrepôt—or port city—where civilization trades in art, love, and war.

Within the intimate, enlightened, and dazzling linguistic flights of these poem-letters, Mark McMorris offers keen observations of war and warriors, history and art—engaging a world that has experienced “continuous combat since Helen gave Paris a flower / at least since the Bronze Age of Agamemnon’s armada.”

About the Author

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mark McMorris is an award-winning poet whose books include Entrepôt and The Blaze of the Poui, a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, writer-in-residence at Brown University, and visiting professor at University of California-Berkeley. He was recently director of the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University, where he currently teaches.


“This stunning title should be named one of the top poetry books of the year because no one composes poems like Mark McMorris. This is one of those rare collections to be experienced in one sitting, cover to cover; the reader is swept into a realm where language gives birth to a vision so breathtaking and spiritual that any current concept of ‘poem’ must be replaced. . . . Entrepôt is an act of enlightenment.” —Ray Gonzalez, Bloomsbury Review

“A wary heir to the likes of Pound and Eliot, this ambitious poet creates complex, allusive, polyglot work that’s international in its outlook yet rooted in a specific time and place. . . . Sunlight soaks these verses; tropical vegetation and coral reefs abound. . . . McMorris is eloquent on the subject of desire. But when he writes of war, he comes undeniably into his own as a fierce and vatic bard.” Poets’ Quarterly

“Should you, dear Reader, make the wise decision to peer in through the double doors of this rich repository, you will then experience the vast and singular scope of Mark McMorris’s poetic insight. Over here, tropic shores and cones of light; there, the monsters and the magi of modernity; further along, the poem itself coming to be, just beyond our grasp. With extraordinary fluency, McMorris reflects on both the purposes of the art and the paradoxes of the present, the violence and beauty, and the sometimes violent beauty, of our times.” —Michael Palmer

“McMorris writes masterfully, is a master, a classicist at heart, a Modernist after all . . . a striver after the main chance, a Great Poet.” —Joshua Corey