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February 2007
112 pages  

5 3/4 x 9
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Fata Morgana
Shepherd, Reginald
Fata Morgana mingles personal experience, history, mythology, politics, and natural science to explore the relationships of conception and perception, the self finding its way through a physical and social world not of its own making, but changing the world by its presence.

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Reginald Shepherd (1963–2008) was the author of five books of poetry: Fata Morgana; Otherhood; Wrong; Angel, Interrupted; Some Are Drowning; and Red Clay Weather. His work has been widely anthologized, and has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies.
“Reginald Shepherd's splendid meditations on lyric song and its elusive, illusive mirages-its fata morgana-celebrate and interrogate the craving for permanence and coherence in a world of loss and flux. Shepherd's supreme fictions evoke Persephone, Ophelia, Eve, and Echo; a torn Osiris, an Orpheus who 'plays the Bronx,' and the dumped industrial wastes of the Chicago River. Fata Morgana is a stunning collection by one of our most fiercely intelligent lyricists of myth and imagination.”--Bruce Beasley

“I admire all Reginald Shepherd's books-this one I truly love. From his extensive work with Greek and other myths he has learned a new way to know the world, which means the excruciatingly unattainable is still his subject, but the gap between desire and attainment now produces a new beauty 'free of any eden we can name.' This book feels like the culmination of a major project.”--Bin Ramke

“Reginald Shepherd's astonishing ear has surpassed itself in these flowing lyrics that look at loss as it entwines through body and history. Throughout the book, song speaks. From Orpheus to Marvin Gaye, it's song that triumphs over pain and memory and desire, and Shepherd makes English sing until it transforms sorrow into a kind of light.”--Cole Swensen

“In his intense and mournful fifth collection, Shepherd mixes myth, TV, street lingo and fidelity to the poetic tradition to create poems that elegize a world which, as in the phenomenon after which the book is titled, is distorted and bent out of shape. . . Stunning. . . . Shepherd’s rigid stanzas and ear for music in a minor key spread [bad] news beautifully.”—Publishers Weekly

”I would have to recommend the entire collection. It has a lot to offer, not just to the lover of mythology like myself, but to the poetry lover in general.”—Avatar Review

”Ultiimately, what makes ‘Fata Morgana’ so heartening is in how it writes its way from lack to love: for it’s knowledge gained by his journey that enables Shepherd’s speaker to declare with such perfect certainty ‘We have come to the end of the body / and the body doesn’t end.”—Lambda Book Report

”Through this collection of rhythmic poems, Shepherd transforms himself into a god of words in order to explore the limitations and acute pain creative beings face when wanting to completely possess their creations.”—The Adirondack Review

Complete Description Reviews
Pitt Poetry Series Table of Contents
Poetry Read a selection from this book



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