Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
If You Can Tell

If You Can Tell

Poems

James McMichael

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

BUY THE BOOK

Trade Paperback

A poignant new collection with visionary clarity from a National Book Award finalist

If You Can Tell, the new book of poems by James McMichael, a finalist for the National Book Award in 2006, takes up what it might mean that the word was in the beginning, before which there may not have been “empty / space, / even, / nor the thought of it.” A baby is conceived after a verbal exchange between his parents. He’s born and learns to talk. Told that the grandfather he cherishes has died, he unknowingly silences any memory of the man. To his Sunday school class a few years later, he tells the lie that he himself was born in China. The boy grows up into a vexing faith. Though he expects his own death will be final, God is no less God to him in the life he's been given and must in time give back.

Reviews

Praise for If You Can Tell

If You Can Tell combines mastery of both the creation and the formatic [sic] manipulation of language to create an exquisite search for meaning common to every human soul . . . Flooring." —Victoria E. Sanchez, The Harvard Crimson

About the author

James McMichael

James McMichael is the author of several books of poetry, including Capacity, a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. He is a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

James McMichael

Cindy Love

James McMichael

Visit the author's faculty profile

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER