a book of poems on love and marriage from                                                      

                             

SHANN RAYwinner of: 

       * THE AMERICAN BOOK AWARD *

       * THE HIGH PLAINS BOOK AWARD IN POETRY * 

       * THE FOREWORD BOOK OF THE YEAR READERS’ CHOICE AWARD *

  

“Expansive and luminous… heartbreaking… not to be missed.”                                         Debra Magpie Earling, Perma Red

 

“Ray’s feel for the heart and soul of Montana and its people—all its people—graces every page.” Andrea Barrett, Archangel

 

“A brutal beautiful vision of Montana.”  —Esquire

 

“Tough, poetic, and beautiful.”Sherman Alexie, War Dances

 

“Shann Ray’s prose brings to mind Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx but is, thankfully, entirely his own. His work is lyrical, prophetic, brutal yet ultimately hopeful.”  Dave Eggers, What is the What

 

“Not torch song but full-throated anthem for the conflagration love tenders, Sweetclover offers an intimate libretto chronicling the kingdom of marriage in which a wife’s body reigns supreme. Ghostpipe, banner, burning house, river, hollowed bell, sugarbowl, fluted vase, mountain lily, weather vane – here’s the body ‘God made,’ disrobed, ‘gilded like a struck match,’ winged. Shann Ray is a poet of ecstasy, god-parented by Derrida and Dickinson, propelled to plumb terrain both spiritual and geographic for clarity around what it means to be embodied and consumed. Love letter writ large to the divine grandeur of Ray’s Montana home and his fellow sojourner, Sweetclover renders poems as consummate prayer.”                       Katrina Roberts, Friendly Fire

 

Shann Ray’s Sweetclover is a book steeped in desire, a book of body and spirit. It strikes me, savoring these fine, wise poems, that love and religion share a vocabulary: ecstasy, rapture, devotion, faithfulness. In Sweetclover, married love is nothing less than holy.” Maggie Smith, Good Bones

 

“Ecstatic and haunted, tender and wild, Sweetclover opens with the violent, needful calls of elk and closes with the ‘jaw and body rise’ of the long-known love. And what a journey between. Herein we cross mountains and ford rivers, we reckon our deepest beliefs, come evening we hungrily hold ‘the hipbones of the beloved.’ Shann Ray is one of the most vital, necessary writers at work today, and whether novel or poem his project, I am beginning to understand, is nothing less than finding for himself and those he loves, as well as all the rest of us, ways of being whole in the body and whole in the world. And for that, I thank him.”                                                     —Joe Wilkins, When We Were Birds