Sean Thomas Dougherty celebrates the struggles, the dignity, and the joys of working-class life in the Rust Belt. Finding delight in everyday moments—a night at a packed karaoke bar, a father and daughter planting a garden, a biography of LeBron James as a metaphor for Ohio—these poems take pride in the people who survive despite all odds, who keep going without any concern for glory, fighting with wit and grace for justice, for joy, every god damned day.
I breathe the dirty East Side wind
pushing past the Russian church, the scent
of fish & freighters & the refinery
filling the hole in my chest—how many years
have piled since I last stumbled out onto the ice
& sat down to die.
Only to look up at the geometry
of sky—& stood
to face whoever might need me—
“The poems of Sean Thomas Dougherty will bless the inside of your home with rain, mist, thunder, the laughter of children, overgrown wild flowers; and make you grateful for this sublime inconvenience.” —Roger Bonair-Agard
“Sean Thomas Dougherty’s poems are singing knives that cut your heart so that it beats again!” —Phil Metres
“Every poem Sean Thomas Dougherty writes is holy, a psalm for the damned.” —Sheryl St. Germain
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2018