$12.00 paper | 67 pages
Publication Date: December 1998
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In Greatest Hits, Marc Sheehan tells the story of the dispossessed better than anyone since Raymond Carver, with a lyrical élan that seems to reveal––like a brushing away of light snowfall––those things in our lives we hold most dear, whether it’s an old stolen fiddle, a recycled Xmas tree, or the Portable Nietzsche one reads while on break at the factory. In a voice that is gentle yet honest, Sheehan is able to lay bare our most desperate moments and to leave in the stillness a redemption offered up by something as simple and beautiful as a blue snake gliding over stones at the edge of a grassy quarry.
“Language is his music and his ear is tuned to it––from liner notes to riff and nuance, this book’s sections shift and change between belonging and alienation as they travel the heart’s path. This poet speaks of and for the human spirit as he explores our connection with the natural world and with each other.”
“These are such well-made poems. Manifest is the sharp edge of self-editing and a careful ear. Sheehan understands the traffic between myth and biography, the space between utterance and quiet. Greatest Hits is a powerful and welcome debut.”
“These poems display poise and resilience in their constant effort to maintain balance in an often rocky present and in the face of an always uncertain future looming around ‘the next unpaved turn.’ Sheehan finds music wherever he can––takes solace in it, celebrates it––the music that blurs the line between ‘where the body ends and the world begins.’ The music of this book will stay with you long after you close it. Greatest Hits is a remarkable collection.”
“Sheehan brings to life the dreams of working-class youth, in rural hamlets and factory towns, bikers and strippers, the young married and quickly divorced—the dull, inescapable ache of wanting to weep and not having the words.”
—Vince Gotera, North American Review
The poet Marc J. Sheehan is a life-long Michigan resident. He has earned degrees from Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan, where he received a Major Hopwood Award in Poetry. His honors also include grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served as Writer Center Coordinator at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, and has reviewed books for both the Lansing Capital Times and On the Town.