Monday Must Read!
This week meet Margaret Mackinnon, author of The Invented Child, for which she received the Gerald Cable Book Award and was given the 2014 Literary Award in Poetry from the Library of Virginia. Her work has appeared in Image, Poetry, New England Review, Georgia Review, Quarterly West, RHINO, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and other publications.
Margaret Mackinnon grew up in the South, influenced by a lush landscape and a family that emphasized a deep connection between language and meaning. Her mother wrote poetry as a young woman (and generously encouraged all her earliest literary efforts). Her father was a Presbyterian minister, so every Sunday, she watched him try to give shape to beliefs and questions through the words of sermons, prayers, and creeds.
In college, at Vassar and the University of North Carolina, Mackinnon studied art history and religion, thinking about how image and pattern intersect with what we see as significant. And then came five years in Japan, where she taught English and studied textile design in a small circle of Japanese women artists. She learned something there about the discipline of a craft, and how that kind of focus can take one into a deeper attention to the everyday world. Back in the United States, she entered the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Florida.
Her awards include the Richard Eberhart Poetry Prize from Florida State University, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches at a private girls’ high school and lives in Falls Church, Virginia.
She lives with her husband and daughter in Falls Church, Virginia.
More about The Invented Child
Margaret Mackinnon is a compelling voice in American poetry. Her début collection, The Invented Child, is beautifully poised between reticence and candor. Frequently inspired by visual art, she writes lovingly of her parents, her husband, her child, but also of Sophia Hawthorne and Walt Whitman and Grant Wood, reminding us of the “sweet amplitude” of life. These are splendid poems of feeling that look far beyond the self to the miraculous other. Brava! — Kelly Cherry
Four Poems from The Invented Child
“For Grant Wood” at The Poetry Foundation
“Mary Shelley’s Dream”
More poems and reviews at Verse Daily