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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.
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: https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Shy-Made-Michigan-Writers/dp/0814348785