Purchase Drunks and Other Poems of Recovery here.
There are rock stars of the slam-poetry world; poets who not only sell thousands of books but travel the country and perform for hundreds of fans at a time. Poets like the late Jack McCarthy, writer of eight books of poetry and whose newest work, Drunks and other poems of recovery, is a masterful collection for those who have made and are making the thorny journey through addiction.
In Drunks and other poems of recovery, McCarthy likens an AA meeting to an island of shipwrecked survivors. “Every night we gather around the fire and tell our stories. And the more we tell our stories, the clearer it becomes: it isn’t many stories we’re telling, it’s The Story,” says McCarthy. That’s what he was unparalleled at doing: telling his story while at the same time telling the tale of thousands.
Drunks and other poems of recovery will be McCarthy’s last book. He left this world earlier this year at age 73. His life was a full one; 40 years sober, a touring poet who traveled much of the United States and Canada, Ireland, Germany and Spain and an innovative writer of poetry and recovery. McCarthy is gone but due to his poetry and recorded performances, the essences of him will always be here.
I read this book while at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. What better place to delve into a book of poetry when surrounded by some of the best poets I've ever met? Write Bloody Publishing continues to publish authors with so much to offer, this time showcasing a man who shows incredible versatility, even in a book based around one subject. Yes, most of these poems focus on Alcoholics Anonymous and other parts of the author's life being an alcoholic, but they echo sentiments that anyone in recovery feels. Whether you are recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, self harm, or an eating disorder, or if you are close with someone who is, you will find pieces of yourself in these poems, along with something that seems scarce in the recovery community: hope. This is a beautiful final connection that, if I have anything to say about it, will be read long after people have forgotten Aliens.
Until next time, happy reading!