By Way of Dust and Rain — Mark Fitzgerald
Subtle, lyrical and accomplished — Mark Fitzgerald’s poetry moves easily between image and insight, the formal and the concrete; always with a keen ability to render the vicissitudes and mysteries of trying to see and be alive. These poems stay with you long after you’ve read them, paint bold horizons of meaning and contemplate humanity’s relationship to the natural world and the indomitable strides of time.
A blue jay or flower is given the same magnitude as a train or saxophone. The dead are brought to life and begin to sing. A mask is unveiled and a carnival envisioned. Neither obscure nor colloquial, the poet has woven a tapestry of remarkable intimacy and wonder, celebrating the sublime half-light that waltzes between ecstasy and elegy, between dust and the rain that washes it away.
Mark Fitzgerald’s By Way of Dust and Rain is an elegant debut. The voice here speaks with the virtue of a keen intelligence, with a lyric richness that delights in both its control and spareness. These poems, beautifully calibrated, measure the weight and density of the moments that equal a life.
By Way of Dust and Rain is Mark Fitzgerald’s first Cinnamon Press collection, publlished in 2010. His second collection, Downburst, was published by Cinnamon in 2019. His poetry has appeared in various periodicals, including Santa Clara Review, Slipstream, Crab Creek Review, Naugatuck River Review and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. His work has also appeared in unbound CONTENT’s anthology, Scratching Against the Fabric. Mark teaches writing and literature at the University of Maryland and was recently awarded a writing fellowship from the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts. He lives in Oakton, Virginia, with his wife, Paige, and son, Blake.