What a sweet read, the proverbial @onesitting, in this case reading first at random and then again through. I envy the ease, wit, and music of these. There are memories of events I think I share or should have or wished to have.
What writers have said of M. G. Stephens’ other books
“…alive, greatly detailed, poignant…”
—Anne Waldman, author of Fast Speaking Woman
“Michael Gregory Stephens teaches us how to look at things we have never seen before–and to make them part of what we know about ourselves.”
—Paul Auster, author of The New York Trilogy
“Crossed by light, wind, memory and love of things fragile, M. G. Stephens’ little poetry boats carry forth the human burden. These are the words of one of America’s best loved lit sailors.”
—Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator, poet and essayist
“M.G. Stephens’ writing is the seasoned work of a pure poet, a marriage of the concise and lyrical, suffused with both moments of keenly observed humanity and flights of luminous rumination.”
—Richard Price, author of The Wanderers and Lush Life
“Michael Gregory Stephens is a brilliant writer, with a great imagination and heart. And his words are downright gorgeous. I love the way his meditations veer with daring and grace between the poetry and the spoken, between art and life.”
—Hilma Wolitzer, author of Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket
“M. G. Stephens is Irish, for which I forgive him, and he has written a beautiful book, for which I thank him. It is a joy to read because Michael Stephens is such a superb writer, a master of language, in short, a poet. In his immaculate artistry he has given us another way of perceiving our lives and our struggle, forcing us to ask ourselves what our legacy will be.”
—Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn
“The whole is funny, grave and grand. Simply terrific.”
—George Szirtes, author of Reel and The Burning of the Books
“It’s a great, great book.”
—Roddy Doyle, author of The Commitments and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha
"Stephens's pieces, particularly the personal ones, are hard-won, deeply honest and unaccommodatingly true. The 'Irishness' of the writing is of course not a matter of nativity or direct experience but of keen imagination and percipience."
—Richard Gilman, literary critic and scholar
M. G. Stephens (Michael Gregory Stephens) is author of over 30 books, including two recent novels with Spuyten Duyvil, King Ezra, about the flawed Modernist genius Ezra Pound, and Kid Coole, the third book in The Coole Trilogy, the other books being The Brooklyn Book of the Dead and Season at Coole, the latter which E. P. Dutton published more than fifty years ago. Stephens was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and further out on Long Island, the third of sixteen children to an Irish gypsy father and a multiracial American mother from a family which traced its origins back to a slave owned by the Wheelock family, the founders of Dartmouth College. His play Our Father ran for over five years on Theatre Row (42nd Street), and has been produced several times in London, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He received his degrees after the age of 30 from the City College of New York, Yale University, and much later in life (60 years old), from the University of Essex in Colchester, England. Stephens lived in London for 15 years, mainly working in fringe theatres as a writer, director and actor, moving back to the U.S. just before the Covid-19 pandemic. He has both Irish and U.S. citizenships, and is anxious to travel again after being housebound with the rest of the country during the pandemic. He dreams of taking the night boat from Algeciras to Tangier and settling permanently in Northern Africa. Barring that he would settle for a winterized cottage on Cape Cod or at the end of Long Island.