Speech Crush by Sandra McPherson is part of the California Poets Series.
Like kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing a broken vessel with lines of tree sap and gold, the poems in Sandra McPherson’s new book, Speech Crush, run a vein of intelligence and attention through often harrowing experiences—of deep loss, of scammers and self-immolators, of institutionalization and separations that rival those of Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.” And like the work of Bishop and Leonard Cohen, two poets whose long practice led us to a place whose gates are suffering and wisdom, McPherson’s poems ask us to take into ourselves a wrecked, a transformed beauty. Here it is.
— Jordan Smith, author of Little Black Train and Common Spirits
Readers intimately acquainted with Sandra McPherson’s vivid, metaphorical voice and her wise poetic conscience over the decades—as well as readers encountering her soul-stirring poems of the environment for the first time, or delighted by her daughter’s precise musicality in the title poem—will receive blessings beyond measure from Speech Crush. This dazzling treasury celebrates the bejeweled fruitfulness of a woman’s life-journey with the strength and tenderness of a redwood’s annular rings. This book is a rare and tremendous gift.
— Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Rose is a Verb: Neo-Georgics, Sonata in K, Phyla of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res