Saturday, February 12, 2011

Frances McCue poetry collection
to be launched February 20

The Bled, a new poetry collection by upstreet poet Frances McCue, will be launched by Factory Hollow Press at 5pm February 20 at Flying Object, a bookstore, letterpress and gallery at 42 West Street, Hadley, Massachusetts.

Derived from the Arabic word baladi (land), “the bled” is a term invented by the French, who colonized much of North Africa. In this context, it means hinterland, or raw desert. Frances McCue and her family lived in Morocco for a year, on the edge of the bled, and this book is about the time they spent there. Frances’s husband, Gary Greaves, died on February 12, 2010, a year ago today.

“This book is that rare and necessary thing that real poetry is—a clear-eyed, ruthless, beautiful, terrible look at what it is to be human with a body and a brain and heart, to find love and to lose it, to be knocked around by death and grief, to wonder how you can go on living but knowing you must. To try to understand—through words—what can’t be understood.”—Rebecca Brown

“This is the most moving account of a spouse’s death that I have ever read.”—James Tate

Frances McCue is the author of the poetry collection The Stenographer’s Breakfast (Beacon, 1992) and the nonfiction book The Northwest Towns of Richard Hugo (University of Washington, 2010). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in upstreet number seven, Cutbank, The Seattle Review, Crab Creek Review, Poetry Northwest, MS. Magazine, and other publications, and in several anthologies, including Looking Together, For a Living: The Poetry of Work, and World in Our Words: Contemporary American Women Writers. Her essays and reviews have been published in a variety of magazines and newspapers, including The Georgia Review, Tin House, The Seattle Times, The Stranger, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The New York Times Book Review.

Frances’s honors include a 2009 Pushcart Prize nomination, a 2009 GAMMA award, a 2006 Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs grant, a 2006 Jack Straw Writers Fellowship, and a 4Culture 2004 Individual Artist Award. She is Writer in Residence and Lecturer at the University of Washington in Seattle, and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar and Lecturer at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh, Morocco. She was Founding Executive/Artistic Director of the Richard Hugo House in Seattle, the largest literary center west of the Mississippi.

A second launch event for The Bled will take place March 4 at Open Books in Seattle, Washington. You may visit Frances McCue online at her blog.

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