Gun Shy by Jim Daniels

I just preordered this:

Wayne State University Press

4809 Woodward Ave.

Detroit, MI 48201

For more information on the book or to speak to the author, please contact

Kristina Stonehill, Promotions Manager

*For Immediate Release*

DETROIT, MI, May 12, 2021 — The poems in Gun/Shy deal with the emotional

weight of making do. Tinged with both the regrets and wisdom of aging, Jim

Daniels’s poems measure the wages of love in a changing world with its

vanishing currency. He explores the effects of family work—putting children to

bed, leading parents to their final resting places—and what is lost and gained in

those exertions. Childhood and adolescence are examined, through both looking

back on his own childhood and on that of his children. While his personal death

count rises, Daniels reflects on his own mortality. He finds solace in small

miracles—his mother stretching the budget to feed five children with

“hamburger surprise” and potato skins, his children collecting stones and

crabapples as if they were gold coins.

Daniels, as he always has, carries the anchor of Detroit with him, the weight

both a comfort and a burden. He explores race, white privilege, and factory

work. Eight Mile Road, a fraught border, pulses with division, and the echoes of

music, singing through Detroit’s soiled but solid heart, resonate in these poems.

His first long poem in many years, “Gun/Shy,” centers the book. Through the

personas of several characters, Daniels dives into America’s gun culture and the

violent gulf between the fearful and the feared.

Throughout, he seeks connection in likely and unlikely places: a river rising

after spring rain and searchlights crossing the night sky. Comets and cloudy

skies. Cement ponds and the Garden of Eden. Adolescence and death. Wounds

physical and psychic. Disguises and more disguises. These are the myths we

memorize to help us sleep at night, those that keep us awake and trembling.

Daniels’s accessible language, subtlety, and deftness make this collection one

that belongs on every poetry reader’s shelf.


A native of Detroit, Jim Daniels currently lives in Pittsburgh and is the Thomas S. Baker University Professor Emeritus at Carnegie

Mellon. His recent books include Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press, 2017) and The Perp Walk. He also coedited the

anthology RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music.

Book information:

Available August 2021, 6×9, 96 pages

ISBN 9780814348789, $16.99 Paperback (eBook also available)

More information and cover image download available at:

Made in Michigan Writers Series

available for preorder:

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