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Readings from Ghost Gear book tour

Reviews of Ghost Gear

NPR interview

Interviews with McFadyen-Ketchum  



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Read a selection of poems from Ghost Gear 


What They're Saying about Ghost Gear...


Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum is not a poet of small ambition. He reaches after big subjects in the high style, and --mirabile dictu-- he brings it off. There is something of Walt Whitman in McFadyen-Ketchum. He is a rhapsodist spinning words into a musical web. Line by line the poems pulse with verbal energy. His language is all meat and muscle. And yet, at the heart of the poems, one finds not simply a literary performance but a tender alertness to the world. 

Dana Gioia, author of Can Poetry Matter

In the tradition, narratives march and lyrics fly. Ghost Gear is a book rich with narrative, but its primary impulse is always toward flight, and so McFadyen-Ketchum joins the ranks of practitioners of the vertical narrative: Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Penn Warren, and Rodney Jones to name a few. “I am a poet retelling a telling,” he writes, and the point of retelling is always to up the ante, to make the story more potent, more rewarding, and more dangerous. “It is as if we are subjects in a grand / experiment,” one of his poems declares, and the poet’s alembic refines its world down to basic substances, essences, and ash.

T.R. Hummer, author of Ephemeron

In Ghost Gear, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum has written an affecting, and affective, book-length examination of a child’s coming of age into a world in which childhood is not innocent, and beauty is never entirely free of violence. In these lush, maximalist poems, McFadyen-Ketchum strips away the sentimental haze of childhood nostalgia to reveal a world in which shockingly common acts of violence pierce our understanding of how America treats and nurtures its young. Like certain of Whitman’s poems, Ghost Gear moves from the self-perceptions of the individual to the larger world that immerses it, between moments of high lyricism and simple, concrete references to pop culture, revealing how a strange intimacy might occur between groups of people and things that are “not supposed” to connect but in these poems, surprisingly, do. 

Paisley Rekdal, author of Animal Eye