Forty years sober when he neared the end of his life, Jack McCarthy gives the world something special in his final collection of poetry and true stories. This is his legacy to the people who saved his life. Jack McCarthy’s poem “Drunks” has gone around the world on recovery websites and is one of the most popular poems on the harsh climb out of alcoholism to date.
“My favorite book of 2013. Just amazing. Gives me an entirely new view of what AA and addiction is about. Gave my copy to someone in recovery. Have also read it entirely again on Kindle. Fantastic.” — Edmund Davis-Quinn
Asked what the theme of the work was, Jack said, “What I Saw” is something like a record he bought in the 50s called “Songs I Love to Sing.” It has several of Jack’s steadily performed poems such as, “Epithalamion: A Few Words For Kathleen” and “Cartalk III.” Thomas Lux says of Jack’s poetry, “You get lost in reading or listening to Jack McCarthy’s poems.”
Jack writes with wry insight about his boyhood, Catholicism, the Red Sox, asteroids, his daughters, old cars, advertising, our time as the “Golden Age of the Opinion,” and his love for his wife. He casually but resoundingly extrapolates invaluable lessons in living from each memory, episode, observation, and meditation.
The Selected Shorter Poems of Jack McCarthy” (2011)
In these poems, Jack focuses his circuitous, penetrating attention on the joys and complications of human relationships. Marriage and parenthood in particular are explored unflinchingly…nothing escapes McCarthy, whose narratives seem to wander far afield, but circle to close exactly on target…Every reader will find something in these pages that speaks to him. Limited supply.