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The Middleman

Authors: David Cavanagh

Published by Salmon Poetry

ISBN: 9781903392317

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The poems in The Middleman refuse to take sides, or rather, they insist on taking all sides. Writing from the United States with a Canadian background and Irish ancestry, Cavanagh straddles a number of borders. With deft language and a compassionate voice, his poems explore complex territories of love, family, work, and nationality through the lens of personal history. They seek lost connections from a Montreal childhood, a funeral procession in Cork, or a walk with a lover among wildflowers in Vermont. Always there is yearning for meaning. And usually it's the subtle, middle ground between extremes that seems most fertile.

These poems suggest that in the search for sensuous understanding lies a saving beauty and vitality. Baffled by contradictions, the middleman of the title poem finds himself ...

... right where I have to be... high
on my own thin wire, gamely stringing myself

along, half wanting to look down, half blinded
by midday glare, stretching for who knows where.

Born and raised in Montreal, David Cavanagh has also lived in Ontario and now in Vermont, where he works as an associate dean at Johnson State College. His poems have appeared in journals, chapbooks, and anthologies in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. The Middleman is his first full-length collection. His second collection, Falling Body, was published by Salmon in 2009.
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