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HALFWAY DECENT SINNERS

Halfway Decent Sinners
by Michael Cleary
Publisher:
CW Books
(February 2006)
ISBN:
1933456191
Order

Book Cover Design
by
Daniel Cleary

HALFWAY DECENT SINNERS

 

REVIEWS

  REVIEWS:
Anne-Marie Oomen
  These poems couple boyhood shenanigans with a spiritual heart, a brilliant mix Cleary first established in his award-winning book, Hometown U.S.A. which won the 1992 American Book Series Award. more...
   
Gary Kay
 

Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century
Review of Halfway Decent Sinners
by Gary Kay
<www.rattle.com>

Halfway Decent Sinners, Michael Cleary's second book (his first was Hometown, USA, San Diego Press), explores with skill and sensitivity numerous subjects that cover the broad range of human experience. A recurring theme in most is the glories and perils of the body. A fine example is "Boys Skinny Dipping at the Y in Winter." On the one hand, it is a lyric, celebrating the spontaneity of youth and the power and prowess of the body. Yet on a subtler level, it is an elegy, lamenting the loss of innocence and the inevitable decline of the physical. This double-edged dynamic is sustained throughout. more...

   

New Works Review

 

The back cover photo of Michael Cleary captures a man with twinkling eyes and mischievous smile.  His poetry reflects that humor, but Cleary's work is multi-faceted.  One critic extols his "eloquent exploration of our flawed human condition."  This poetry is, indeed, drawn from a world he observes with a keen eye, then mourns or celebrates through a facile weaving of words.  The Church becomes "a sacred rigamarole of faith." Youthful fear is "dumb hope doing its best not to shudder or let go."  Humorous. Eloquent. Facile. Angry. Empathetic. Cleary's poetry is all these
things and more.
more...

   
The Florida Book Review
  Perhaps every poet should drive a beer truck. Perhaps every poet should grow up with the rigorous rigmarole of Catholicism. If that were to happen, then, and only then, would a poet craft a book as funny, sorrowful and beautiful as Michael Cleary’s Halfway Decent Sinners. more...
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POEMS: 
Lucky Shirt
Original Sin
Altar Boy’s First Mass
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  POEMS, AUDIO VERSION:
Introduction (John Quirk)
“Chemo Sabe”
“Sister Lard Ass & the Squirt Gun”
   
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NPR AUDIO PERFORMANCE WITH GARRISON KEILLOR
(Link goes to Writer's Almanac web site. Scroll down page to 06/29/06—2 min., 10 sec. to start.)
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  READER CORRESPONDENCE:
Kevin Walzer
  Michael Cleary's Halfway Decent Sinners is a book unlike most of what we've published: unabashedly funny. The book is full of tales of quirky characters and their all-too-human foibles, narrated chiefly in the context of a Roman Catholic upbringing, and rendered with affection. Cleary has a sharp eye for character, and is unsparing of himself (if one may presume that many of the poems' narrators are versions of the author) as he is of anyone else: but also as forgiving, as well. more...
   
Vincennes University
  This letter serves as an invitation to share both your poetry and teaching skills in several venues on the campus of Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, on April 19-20, 2007. On April 20, the English Department and Humanities Division sponsor POETRY ON THE GREEN, an annual event that we would like you to participate in. more...
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  ORDER:
Order Halfway Decent Sinners & Audio CD
Printable Order Form
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