For & Against

Sharon McCartney (Goose Lane)

Two ringed coffee stains collide on the book’s front cover. The contact causes an explosion, a darker drop with squibs. On a stark white background, these rust-hued circles express the thrust of McCartney’s work: opposing emotional spheres may well overlap to form a new state of mind and of the heart. The duality of push and pull is easy to miss and hard to write about with clarity, simplicity and universality. This Fredericton-based poet never sounds self-serving or self-absorbed charting the before and after of her own marital breakdown. Therapist and drinking buddy, McCartney shows that a broken heart still beats.

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