Mary’s House

New and Selected Poems by David Craig

POETRY/Religious, 268 pages
paperback SRP $18.95
ISBN-10: 1-59597-007-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-59597-007-7[spacer height=”20px”]

Mary’s House is a lively and challenging mix of contemporary and classical themes and forms. Along with poetry built around the spiritual struggles of everyday life (“Apprentice Poems,” “Some Kind of Pilgrim,” “For the Joy of It,”) Mary’s House also includes the biblically-inspired “Psalms” and “Sonnets from Matthew,” and three beautiful series inspired by the lives of St. Francis, St. Therese, and the seeress Anna Maria Taigi. Mary’s House concludes with Craig’s stunning collection of poems based on St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Preparation for Death.[spacer height=”20px”]

These are really splendid examples of the sonnet form with its difficulty, its logic, its power, its capacity to surprise. . . . The poet made me see the scriptures in a different way; as Christ did on the way to Emmaus, he opened them up for me.[spacer height=”20px”]

Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and Atticus[spacer height=”20px”]


Mary’s House is a veritable hipster/scholar’s Lives of the Saints, taking us from the Psalms through a splendid, giddy, brilliant chorus of saints—women and men—many of these poems (and what abundance is here, in so many lyrical forms and riffs on forms) turning on the poet’s own progress…and, with searing intensity and honesty and wit, on our own. If anyone has drunk deeply of the model of St. Francis for our time, it has to be David Craig. He scatters flowers of spiritual wisdom with abandon toward us, which again and again and again bless even as they burn.”[spacer height=”20px”]

Paul Mariani, author of Deaths and Transfigurations and Salvage Operations[spacer height=”20px”]

Whether Craig is musing on a city stoplight glimpsed through a black iron fence or the sacred antics of Francis of Assisi on Mt. Alvernia, everything for this poet pulses with God’s breath and love. Moreover Craig is a master of both the short and long forms of his craft….Craig’s language is immediate, expressive, rich in imagery, as subtly crafted and luminous as stained glass.[spacer height=”20px”]

David Impastato, editor of Upholding Mystery[spacer height=”20px”]

I have followed David Craig’s poetry for some time now, relishing not only its quality but also its originality—how few in our time eschew the triviality and babble of so-called postmodernism, preferring the path of spiritual growth? What a pleasure to chart that progress, aesthetic and spiritual (for Craig the two are rightly inseparable), as we here can do by moving from the jewel-like earlier poetry to a tour de force like Anna-Maria Taigi.[spacer height=”20px”]

Sydney Lea, author of To the Bone, founder of New England Review[spacer height=”20px”]

David Craig is a rare breed of religious poet, a contemporary metaphysical who like Donne or Hopkins welds fact to faith, and like no one else shows us the glimmers in the particulars of surfaces. . . . This poetry is transformative; it floods the reader with the richness of the real.[spacer height=”20px”]

Janet McCann, author of Looking for Buddha in the Barbed-Wire Garden