These are poems for all times but very specifically for today—when we so badly need words to show us the way out of an abandonment of all truth and morality. The epigraph from Aldous Huxley tells us “the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.” Huxley means something different from what Heraclitus meant when he said: “you can’t step into the same river twice.” McCarthy’s poems respond to Huxley’s affirmation with power and precision.
Margaret Randall, author of I Never Left Home: Poet, Feminist, Revolutionary
One is captured by a McCarthy poem by its quiet voice and telling imagery, whether the images arrive from woodlands along the Susquehanna, or from remembrances of serving in Vietnam, long ago. This is a book of wise and wistful remembering, beautifully told.
John Balaban, author of Remembering Heaven’s Face and Empires
Door in the Wall is startlingly intimate and delicate—in an age of bombast and public shaming—drawing us, as only the best poetry can, into a quiet inner life and then, subtly, but with acute sharpness, touching the horrific aftermath of war. McCarthy’s poems are witty, contemporary, and funny, too, from Amy Winehouse to the Vietnam war—he exposes the deep complexity and mystery of memory and time.
David Means, author of Hystopia: a novel, and Instructions for a Funeral
Gerald McCarthy’s books of poetry are War Story, Shoetown, Trouble Light (Univ. of New Mexico Press). His writing appears in numerous magazines and anthologies including: New Letters, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, America, Nimrod, The North Dakota Review, The Café Review, The Deadly Writers Patrol, The New Anthology of American Poetry: Postmodernisms 1950-present (Rutgers), and American War Poetry (Oxford).
A Vietnam Veteran of the Marine Corps, he is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the recipient of awards from the NAACP Spring Valley Chapter (Humanitarian Award), The National Writers Union, and the NYS Council on the Arts. He is at work on a memoir—Vet, Deconstructed and lives in Nyack with his wife Michele.
He has taught writing at Attica prison, in migrant labor camps, county jails, schools, and was a Professor of English at St. Thomas Aquinas College.