SHORTLISTED FOR THE T S ELIOT PRIZE 2020
'Out of personal history, out of the history of an enduringly fractured nation, and out of the deep history of language, Shane McCrae is writing the most urgent, electric poems of his generation' Garth Greenwell
'Shane McCrae is one of our best, a great poet who mines the rhythms and vernacular of America, excavating the most exquisite of poems. His work is risky, not risque; intelligent, not clever; deep, not jocular surface play. He is sui generis' Rabih Alameddine
I think now more than half
Of life is death but I can't die
Enough for all the life I see
In Sometimes I Never Suffered, Shane McCrae remains 'a shrewd composer of American stories (Dan Chiasson, New Yorker). Here, an angel, hastily thrown together by his fellow residents of Heaven, plummets to Earth in his first moments of consciousness. Jim Limber, the adopted mixed-race son of Jefferson Davis, wanders through the afterlife, reckoning with the nuances of America's, as well as his own, racial history.
Sometimes I Never Suffered is a search for purpose and atonement, freedom and forgiveness, imagining eternity not as an escape from the past or present, but as a reverberating record and as the culmination of time's manifold potential to mend.