Maurice Manning

Maurice Manning returns to the Kentucky countryside in his eighth collection, Snakedoctor. Existing between haunting memory and pastoral dreamscape, this quiet collection showcases Manning’s storytelling at its finest. Simple, four-beat lines hold epiphanies—“the barn is just an empty church”—and announce visits from a seven-foot stranger named Mr. True. Here, God is reimagined as a “serious banjo player” who calls the world to sing. And sing Manning does. Through rhyme, blues, and haiku, Snakedoctor trains our ears to hear music in the mundane, to find beauty all around us: in the annotated margins of a well-read book, the flight of a father’s shadow puppet, the yellow centers of daisies. Punctuated by rain’s pitter-patter on a tin washtub, and the ring of loneliness in a farmer’s voice as he calls his cattle home, Snakedoctor is a collection that will leave you wanting to dog-ear its pages. From childhood to fatherhood, church barn to apple orchard, moonshine to moonbeam, we leave these poems understanding Manning’s wish: “I wanted to make a prayer and I
did, / in half sleep after the dream.”

ISBN: 9781556596988

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Maurice Manning’s first book, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and published in 2001. Since then, Manning has published five other collections, including The Common Man, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011, and One Man’s Dark. Railsplitter is his seventh collection. Manning has held fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. A former Guggenheim …

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