About the Book:
Leslie McGrath’s courageous, compassionate, clear-eyed, and thoughtfully made poems in By the Windpipe grant the irrational—the “madness” that resides in each of us—permission to be in the world, another aspect of our humanness, and without pathology or judgment. McGrath’s skillful use of craft, deep empathy, and always keen and perceptive mind provide the container for feelings of confusion, rage, grief, and profound isolation that often plague those who suffer the stigma of psychiatric illness (“A mind strafed / by early loss learns to hold on hold on”). We accompany the speaker on a descent, the darkness of which is tempered throughout by a felt sheen of hope. By collection’s end I’d been led to a clearing—“a green so green you called it ransom”—to a sense of release, acceptance, of having been changed. I’m grateful these brave poems exist.
Mari L’Esperance, author, The Darkened Temple (poems) and co-editor of Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine
Want to know more? Go Behind the Title with ELJ Publications here.